WASHINGTON, D.C. — National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member Robert Sumwalt will again serve as the agency’s vice chairman following his designation for the role by President Trump.
The designation of vice chairman was made in conjunction with the president’s intent to nominate Sumwalt for another five-year term as an NTSB member.
Sumwalt officially assumed the duties of vice chairman on Friday after the term of the agency’s previous vice chairman, Bella Dinh-Zarr, concluded on March 29. Dinh-Zarr, who served as NTSB’s acting chairman since March 16, will remain at the NTSB as a board member.
With Sumwalt having been designated as vice chairman, he now serves as acting chairman. Christopher Hart’s term as chairman ended on March 15.
“I want to thank Christopher Hart for his leadership during his tenure as the NTSB chairman, and Bella Dinh-Zarr for her outstanding work as vice chairman and most recently as acting chairman,” Sumwalt said. “Together they have helped advance transportation safety, making us all safer, while also making NTSB one of the best places to work in government.”
Sumwalt began his tenure with NTSB in August 2006 when he was appointed as the 37th member of the agency, at which point President George W. Bush designated him as vice chairman for a two-year term. President Obama reappointed Sumwalt to an additional five-year term as a board member in November 2011.
Before joining the NTSB, Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years, including 24 years with Piedmont Airlines and US Airways, accumulating more than 14,000 flight hours. During his tenure at US Airways, he worked on special assignment to the flight safety department and served on the airline’s flight operational quality assurance monitoring team.
Sumwalt chaired the Air Line Pilots Association’s Human Factors and Training Group and co-founded the association’s critical incident response program. He also spent eight years as a consultant to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System and has written extensively on aviation safety matters.