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FAA Names Robert Tarter Head of Air Traffic Organization Safety

top story photo FAA Monday named Air Force Reserve Brigadier General Robert Tarter 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 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 FAA's Office of Aviation Safety, which promotes aviation safety and monitors compliance with 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 FAA on April 27, presently is serving as the mobilization assistant to the commander of the First Air Force, Air Combat Command, at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

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