March 12, 2015
Contact: Steve Hedges
FREDERICK, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) welcomed the U.S. Senate’s unanimous confirmation Thursday of Christopher Hart, a pilot and former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) executive, as the 13th chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
“We congratulate Member Hart on his confirmation as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “During his years at the NTSB and FAA he has demonstrated his commitment to making our skies safer, and as a licensed pilot he has first-hand experience of the challenges aviators face.
“All of us at AOPA look forward to working with Chairman Hart as we continue our collaborative efforts to keep improving general aviation safety.”
Hart has served as acting NTSB chairman since April 2014.
Hart is an experienced aviator who holds a commercial certificate with instrument and multi-engine ratings. He has also served on the NTSB previously from 1990 to 1993 and from 2009 to present. At the FAA Hart served as deputy director for Air Traffic Safety Oversight and, before that, FAA assistant administrator for System Safety.
During a recent talk at a meeting of the AeroClub of Washington in Washington, DC, Hart related that a great uncle, James Herman Banning, became the first African-American to receive a government-issued pilot's license in 1926.
At the same event Hart described how he has already instituted changes at the NTSB, including an initiative to expand international safety cooperation during accident investigations involving several countries.
"I've asked my staff to look at redesigning the investigation process from scratch," Hart said. "There are some exciting opportunities to improve."
Hart holds a law degree from Harvard University and Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association.
Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly for thousands of pilots, aircraft owners and aviation enthusiasts. AOPA is the world’s largest aviation member association, with representatives based in Frederick, Md., Washington, D.C., Wichita, Kans., and seven regions across the United States. AOPA provides member services that range from advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, flight planning products, safety programs and award-winning media. To learn more, visit www.aopa.org.
- AOPA –