Former airline exec joins Amtrak as safety chief

RELATED TOPICS: AMTRAK | OPERATIONS | SAFETY | PEOPLE
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WASHINGTON — Amtrak has named Ken Hylander executive vice president and chief safety officer. Hylander most recently served as chairman of the Flight Safety Foundation and previously served as the chief safety officer at Delta Air Lines. He will report directly to President and CEO Richard Anderson and be responsible for implementing a proven safety management system at Amtrak.

“We are improving safety at Amtrak. Keeping our customers and employees safe is our most important responsibility and a high-quality safety management system is a requirement for Amtrak,” Anderson says. “Ken is a recognized leader in the implementation and operation of [safety management systems], and his experience will be instrumental in helping build our safety culture.”

A safety management system is a proactive risk management system, which builds on predictive safety management methods. It has been a cornerstone of improving safety in many industries, including aviation, health care and energy. Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that Amtrak implement a safety management system. Amtrak endorses this NTSB recommendation.

Hylander has more than three decades of experience in the aviation industry. He retired as a senior vice president from Delta Air Lines in 2014, where he successfully oversaw the safety system implementation at Delta and managed the occupational, operating safety, security, quality, and environmental compliance programs.

He currently serves on the board of governors of the Flight Safety Foundation and is an independent member of the board of directors of Monroe Energy in Trainer, Pa., an oil refinery subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.

Hylander was Northwest Airlines’ chief safety officer prior to the airline’s merger with Delta. Before joining Northwest in 1997 as the vice president of quality reliability and engineering, Hylander spent nearly 17 years at United Airlines where he held a variety of engineering, quality assurance, and operations management positions.

— An Amtrak news release. Jan. 9, 2018.
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