The U.S. Senate confirmed Jennifer Homendy as Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Aug. 9. The independent federal agency is charged with investigating all civil aviation and other transportation accidents.
Homendy, 49, has served on the board since August 2018 and previously was a senior legislative staffer working on transportation issues. She was nominated by President Joe Biden for the position following the retirement of former NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt last May.
“No words come close to describing how grateful and honored I am right now,” Homendy said via Twitter after the confirmation. “More to come, but tonight I focus on preparing for a board meeting tomorrow re preventing turbulence-related injuries in Part 121 air carrier ops.”
Homendy previously has criticized the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for failing to ensure that driver assistance systems or nascent self-driving vehicles are safe, according to Reuters. In an NTSB probe into a fatal March 2018 Uber self-driving crash, Homendy said NHTSA had “put technology advancement here before saving lives.”
Reuters reported that in a concurring statement filed in March 2020 on a board investigation into a fatal Tesla crash, Homendy said, “The most dangerous way to travel in our country is on the road,” noting that more than 36,000 people are killed annually.