For Immediate Release

April 21, 2008
Contact: Paul Takemoto
Phone: (202) 267-3883

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today named Air Force Reserve Brigadier General Robert O. Tarter as Vice President of Safety Services for the Air Traffic Organization (ATO).

“General Tarter’s distinguished military career combined with his experience as an airline pilot and safety professional brings extraordinary capability to our ranks,” said Acting Administrator Robert A. Sturgell. “He assumes oversight for our air traffic safety operations at a critical time for the industry. We’re glad to have him on board.”

The Safety Services unit is responsible for auditing safety and quality control in the ATO and facilitating safety performance and improvement. One of the unit’s main focuses is reducing the risk of runway hazards. It uses information gleaned from data, investigations and independent testing to identify risks. Safety Services is separate from the FAA’s Office of Aviation Safety, which promotes aviation safety and monitors compliance with the Federal Aviation Regulations.

The Safety Services unit also serves as the liaison between the ATO and the agency’s Air Traffic Safety Oversight Service, which resides in the Office of Aviation Safety, outside the ATO. The Air Traffic Safety Oversight Service provides oversight of ATO activities and approves safety standards, mitigation of safety risks and the safety management system.

Tarter, who takes over duties with the FAA on April 27, is presently serving as the mobilization assistant to the commander of the First Air Force, Air Combat Command, at Tyndall Air Force Base, FL. He entered the Air Force in 1976 and has 3,600 hours flown in the military and 6,000 hours as a civilian, including as a pilot for Delta Air Lines. He’s piloted fighters, MD-88, MD-90, 737, 757 and 767 aircraft. Safety and operational work dominated the last 20 years of his military and civilian careers. Tarter has an undergraduate degree from Baylor and a master’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle.