Teresa Rizzuto, 51, of Bayport, begins working for the FAA at its Eastern Region headquarters in Jamaica, Queens, this week. Rizzuto will be manager for the Safety and Standards Branch of the agency's airports division, an FAA spokesman said.
She will oversee airports in seven states and Washington, D.C. Her job will be to ensure that the airports meet FAA regulations. The salary range for Rizzuto's job is between $113,000 and $175,000.
Rizzuto started an aviation career in 1992 as part of a ground crew at Kennedy Airport with United Airlines. She became a senior manager for the airline in 1999, working at Newark Airport in New Jersey.
In 2003, the carrier added management of the airline's hub at Dulles International outside Washington, D.C., to Rizzuto's responsibilities.
An Elmont native, Rizzuto became commissioner of MacArthur Airport in 2008.
Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci, who was elected in 2011, replaced Rizzuto as chief of the Ronkonkoma airport. In June, Croci said he wanted to grow the airport. Croci also said that Rizzuto ran the airport during a "difficult time in aviation."
MacArthur Airport suffered from a downward trend in passenger volume that hit regional airports around the country during the economic downturn. Traffic in 2011 at the airport dropped 9.4 percent from 2010, the fourth straight year of decline.