Amtrak has appointed Ken Hylander to serve as executive vice president and chief safety officer.
Hylander was previously chairman of the Flight Safety Foundation and served as the chief safety officer at Delta Air Lines.
Under his new role, Hylander will report directly to President and CEO Richard Anderson. He will oversee the implementation of a proven Safety Management System (SMS) at Amtrak, officials said.
“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 said. “Ken is a recognized leader in the implementation and operation of SMS, and his experience will be instrumental in helping build our safety culture.”
The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended that Amtrak implement a SMS Program following last month’s derailment in Washington state. The passenger railroad service said it endorses the recommendation.
Hylander brings more than 30 years of experience in the aviation industry as he begins his new role at Amtrak. He retired as a senior vice president from Delta Air Lines in 2014, after successfully managing Delta’s SMS implementation as well as the occupational, operating safety, security, quality and environmental compliance programs.
He currently serves on the Flight Safety Foundation’s Board of Governors and is an independent member of the Board of Directors of Monroe Energy in Trainer, Pa., an oil refinery subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.
Prior to joining Delta Air Lines, Hylander was Northwest Airlines’ chief safety officer before its merger with Delta. Before joining Northwest in 1997 as the vice president of quality, reliability and engineering, Hylander worked for almost 17 years at United Airlines, where he held multiple engineering, quality assurance and operations management positions.