John DeLeeuw

Safety Background

John DeLeeuw is currently the Managing Director Safety and Efficiency for American Airlines (AA).  He leads a team of over 50 team members who participate in the AA Safety Assurance programs such as Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA), Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), Line Operations Safety Audit (LOSA), and the Learning and Improvement Team (LIT) as integral elements within the AA Safety Management System.  He is also responsible for the AA Efficiency department.  He plans and manages the AA Corporate Safety Department's efforts to support American Airlines' commitment to be the world leader in airline safety. While working most closely with the Flight department, he interfaces with all AA departments to proactively identify and develop strategies and practices to prevent accidents and incidents. John and his team have implemented several safety initiatives benefiting the 14,500+ American Airlines pilots, as well as the entire aviation industry.  He also serves, and has served, as the Party Coordinator for American Airlines in National Transportation Safety Board investigations, and as a member of the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST). 

Flying Experience

John has amassed a total of over 19,000+ accident and incident free flight hours in his flying career.  He is a current and qualified Captain on the 787 Dreamliner. Previously, John was a Captain on the MD-80, and accumulated over 12,000+ hours of experience on this particular aircraft. During his 30-year flying career at American Airlines, he has flown both Domestic and International operations; flying the Boeing 787, the MD80, and the 727.

Prior to flying at American Airlines, John was a C-130 Hercules Evaluator and Instructor Pilot in the United States Air Force. He participated in Desert Storm and numerous classified Special Operations throughout the world. John worked directly with US Army Special Forces and Navy SEALS flying HALO airdrops, and flying insertions/extractions in combat and covert operations.


University of Southern California, Viterbi School of Engineering
Aviation Safety and Security Certificate

University of Arkansas
Masters in Operations Management, graduating summa cum laude

University of Arizona
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, graduating cum laude

Published on May 4th, 2020

Last updated on July 29th, 2022