This story has run far too long. The NTSB has been without a confirmed Chair for almost a year. There have been vocal and repeated calls to confirm the nomination of Christopher Hart for that position. Consequently it is very pleasing to note that the Senate Commerce Committee reported his nomination out for vote on the Senate floor.
The NTSB has uniquely high statutory qualification standards for its Members, although some past nominations did not meet all or most of the criteria. Mr. Hart is a prime example of the precise type of person who should occupy this job:
· his undergraduate and graduate degrees are in aeronautical engineering plus
· he is a GA pilot and exercises those privileges today plus
· he holds a law degree; so he understands the significance of the Board’s statutory authority plus
· he worked for the FAA and consequently has insights into what the FAA can and cannot do plus
· he has led multiple NTSB investigations well.
Hopefully, the above picture will soon be repeated (the young lady holding the bible is all grown up). Aviation safety will be better off with the “acting” prefix deleted from the Honorable Hart nameplate!
Acronyms used in this article (in order):
GA: General Aviation
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