Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Robert Sumwalt of Columbia has been confirmed by the Senate to serve on the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). On Graham’s recommendation, President Bush nominated Sumwalt in June, 2006. He was confirmed unanimously by the Senate last night.
“Robert Sumwalt has a distinguished career in the field of aviation safety,” said Graham. “He is uniquely qualified for this position. I am pleased President Bush nominated him, and I was proud to support his nomination. Robert represents the best of South Carolina and will serve his nation with distinction.”
Sumwalt worked for 24 years as a pilot with US Airways, and currently manages the aviation department at SCANA Corporation in South Carolina. Sumwalt has received extensive education and training in aviation safety and aircraft accident investigation at the University of Southern California. A co-founder of the Air Line Pilots Association Critical Incident Response Program, he also served as a member of the NTSB’s human performance group in the USAir 427 accident investigation.
In 2003, Sumwalt joined the faculty at Southern Cal’s Aviation Safety and Security Program. In addition, he frequently conducts aviation safety, crew resource management, and human factors seminars. He is also a speaker at numerous domestic and international aviation safety conferences.
From 1991 to 1999, Sumwalt worked as a research consultant to the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) Aviation Safety Reporting System. He has also authored several books on aviation safety.
Sumwalt will serve the remainder of the existing term which expires at the end of this year, and a subsequent term which ends December 31, 2011.
The NTSB is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in the other modes of transportation -- railroad, highway, marine and pipeline -- and issuing safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents.