WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former Postmaster General William F. Bolger, now a Washington public relations executive, will become president of the Air Transport Association on March 1, the airline industry's trade organization announced Friday.

Bolger will succeed ATA president Norman J. Philion, who died in October. Bolger, 62, was postmaster general from 1978 until 1984, when he became vice chairman of Gray and Co. Public Communications International.

Retiring ATA chairman Paul R. Ignatius also named William W. Hoover, 53, assistant energy secretary in charge of the $7 billion U.S. nuclear weapons program, to the new post of ATA executive vice president for operations and safety.