President William J. Clinton
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
I hereby tender my resignation as Acting Chairman and Member of the National Transportation Safety Board effective January 18, 2001. It has been my honor and privilege to serve the United States and its citizens as both a Member and the Chairman of the Safety Board for the past seven years.
My tenure has seen a period of unprecedented activity and achievement for the Board and its dedicated employees. Through the leadership of your Administration and the Congress, we have changed forever how the families of victims of major transportation accidents are treated. In response to the changing demands placed on the Board's investigative process, we now have a 24-hour communications center that permits us to more effectively respond to transportation accidents anywhere in the world. Early next year, we will break ground on a training academy that will serve not only our own professional investigators, but will allow us to share the American model of professional, independent accident investigations with investigators around the world.
In addition, during this period, the Board completed two of the most extensive and complex accident investigations in aviation history. As a result, the aviation community has responded with changes in rudder systems; pilot training; fuel tank design; fuel flammability standards; and along with the Federal Aviation Administration, has begun a much needed examination of electrical wiring and aging aircraft systems.
During the past seven years, the men and women of the Safety Board have been on scene at transportation accidents in all fifty states and 46 foreign countries. And, they have successfully completed underwater recoveries of aircraft from four different crashes. They are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to transportation accidents on our highways, our waterways, our railways, our pipelines, and in our skies. They work hard to fulfill our mission to independently investigate those events and to recommend changes that will save lives, reduce injuries, and prevent similar accidents in the future.
Finally, and in my opinion, most importantly, the Board has focused the Nation's attention on child passenger safety in all modes of transportation. As a result, we now have safer automobile airbags for all of our citizens, child fitting stations available nationwide, graduated driver licenses for teens, an emphasis on booster seats for 4- to 8-year-olds, and safer jet skis. I firmly believe that when we as adults put children first in transportation safety, we are all safer.
The men and women of the Safety Board serve our Nation with dedication and distinction. I will miss my association with them. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the American people. Please accept my deepest gratitude for the support and confidence you have placed in me.
List of Accomplishments 1993-2000