[This post has been updated]

The Federal Aviation Administration, already dealing with the December resignation of its administrator following a drunken driving arrest, learned Wednesday that its chief operating officer has been hospitalized with an apparent stroke.

David Grizzle was in George Washington Hospital Thursday, awaiting test results.

He told FAA executives that preliminary indications are he suffered a minor stroke and had been put on drugs to avoid clotting.


Grizzle said he would remain hospitalized at least overnight because doctors warned that more massive strokes sometimes follow minor ones within 48 hours.

Grizzle supervises the FAA’s largest division, which includes the more than 14,000 air traffic controllers who guide the nation’s air travel.

He also will play a major role in development of the revolutionary $40 billion replacement of the current air traffic system.

The agency has been under the direction of Michael Huerta, who was elevated to acting director in December.