First appointed as the NTSB’s 37th member in 2006, Sumwalt most recently served as acting chair for the organization after Christopher Hart’s term as chair ended in January.
“We congratulate Chairman Sumwalt on his confirmation,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of experience to the position from his extensive career in aviation.”
Prior to joining the NTSB, Sumwalt spent 32 years as a pilot with companies, such as U.S. Airways and Piedmont Airlines, where he accumulated more than 14,000 flight hours. After leaving his duties as a pilot, he chaired the Air Line Pilots Association’s (ALPA) Human Factors Training Groups and co-founded ALPA’s critical incident response program.
“During his time with the NTSB, Sumwalt has led several teams of NTSB aviation investigations,” the NATCA officials said. “[Sumwalt] is a fierce advocate for improving safety and is committed to fostering a safety culture within aviation. His leadership on studies, recommendations, and improvements has advanced safety in aviation as well as furthered the public discussion on these issues.”