President Barack Obama on Monday selected FBI Deputy Director John Pistole to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

If approved by the Senate, Pistole will head the agency responsible for securing the nation's air travel.

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TSA has been without a permanent director since Obama took office.

Former FBI agent Erroll Southers withdrew his nomination in January after he gave conflicting statements about using police background checks for private purposes.

Obama's second nominee, retired Army Gen. Robert Harding withdrew his nomination in March after some questioned his work as a defense contractor.

“The talent and knowledge John has acquired in more than two decades of service with the FBI will make him a valuable asset to our administration's efforts to strengthen the security and screening measures at our airports," Obama said in a statement. "I am grateful that he has agreed to take on this important role, and I look forward to working with him in the weeks and months ahead."

Pistole recently played a key role in the arrest of Faisal Shahzad, who is suspected of trying to explode a bomb in New York City's Times Square.

Shahzad was taken off an airplane bound for Dubai at New York's Kennedy Airport two days after the bomb attempt was foiled.