The U.S. Senate confirmed two members to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on July 24.
General aviation safety advocate Bruce Landsberg was confirmed as vice-chairman of the NTSB and transportation veteran Jennifer Homendy was confirmed to fill an empty board seat.
Homendy was nominated to the position in April and will fill a term lasting until Dec. 31, 2019, that was vacated by Mark Rosekind. She has served as Democratic staff director for the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s railroad, pipelines and hazardous materials subcommittee since 2004.
Prior to that, Homendy was a legislative representative for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and has worked for the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) , AFL-CIO, the American Iron and Steel Institute, and the National Federation of Independent Business.
“She will bring to her new role a deep understanding of the needs, responsibilities, and obstacles faced by America’s frontline transportation workforce,” said Larry I. Willis, president of the TTD. “On behalf of our 32 affiliated unions, I offer our collective congratulations to Jennifer for this important achievement in her career, and look forward to continuing our work together to enhance transportation safety.”
Landsberg held leadership roles in the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation and Air Safety Institute for 22 years before his retirement from the organization in 2014. He has frequently worked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulatory agencies, and industry groups such as the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).
Landsberg was nominated to serve as NTSB vice chair in September 2017 and is slated to serve a two-year term as NTSB vice chairman, with his term as a board member extending through Dec. 31, 2022.
After months of having his nomination on hold in the U.S. Senate, Ronald L. Batory was confirmed Tuesday evening as administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration by unanimous voice vote.
Batory’s ascension to the position came after U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, removed a hold he had placed on the nomination.
The hold on Batory’s nomination had been an attempt by the Democratic senator to work out federal funding for the multibillion-dollar Gateway Tunnel project between his home state of New York and New Jersey.
Batory, former COO and president of Conrail, was nominated in July to lead the FRA by President Donald Trump. As the delay on his confirmation continued, Batory began working in November as a special assistant to federal Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, advising on rail matters.
“Ron Batory is a veteran railroader who knows the industry,” SMART TD National Legislative Director John Risch said. “We look forward to working with him at FRA.”
While Batory’s confirmation remained in political limbo, the FRA was being described as “rudderless” in some media reports.
Deputy Administrator Heath Hall, who had been leading the agency, resigned mere days before Batory’s confirmation after allegations surfaced in the media that Hall was working a second job.
Hall had been on a leave of absence from the agency since late January, and Juan D. Reyes III had been overseeing the FRA.
In addition to Batory’s confirmation, Raymond Martinez was confirmed by the Senate as administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
WASHINGTON — Democrat Harry Hoglander has been nominated by President Obama for a fourth three-year term — this one to expire in June 2014 — on the three-member National Mediation Board, which administers the Railway Labor Act.
Earlier this year, Obama nominated Republican Thomas M. Beck to succeeded Republican Elizabeth Dougherty for a term expiring in June 2013.
It is expected the two nominations will move forward in tandem for Senate confirmation.
Democrat Linda Puchela is the third member of the NMB, serving a term that expires in June 2012.
Prior to Senate confirmation to his first term in 2002, Hoglander was a legislative aide to Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.), where he focused on aviation and rail issues. Previously, Hoglander was a Trans World Airlines pilot and executive vice president of the Air Line Pilots Association. Educated as an attorney, Hoglander was a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Beck, an attorney, has been serving as a Senate-confirmed member of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which administers labor-management relations for non-Postal Service federal employees. Previously, Beck practiced labor law in the private sector and was a part-time professor of public policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.