With the election of President Trump, there was a great deal of speculation over how vacancies on the National Transportation Safety Board would be handled. Would the new Administration want to shake things up at the NTSB as they have at other agencies or would there be continuity between the new nominees and the existing board? The answer to that question is, at least for now, “steady as she goes.”
Earlier this morning, the Trump Administration announced that Robert L. Sumwalt III would be re-nominated as a Board member for another 5 year term. In addition, Mr. Sumwalt is also designated as Vice-Chairman of the NTSB for the next two years. Mr. Sumwalt has been a member of the NTSB since 2006, and previously served as NTSB vice chairman from 2006 to 2008. Prior to his time at the NTSB, Mr. Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years, including 24 years with U.S. Airways.
The President’s action is clearly a vote of confidence in the way the NTSB has been handling its duties. Congratulations Mr. Sumwalt, and here’s hoping your confirmation hearing is less contentious than all of the other ones held by the Senate this year.