The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has announced the appointment of 30-year maritime transport safety veteran Angus Mitchell as its new chief commissioner and chief executive.
The news comes after the recently announced retirement of current CEO Greg Hood, who stepped down from the role on 30 June at the end of his five-year term.
Mitchell joins the ATSB from Maritime Safety Queensland, where he spent the last 2.5 years as general manager, and was responsible for overseeing the safe and efficient movement of vessels into and out of Queensland’s 21 ports.
In this role, Mitchell was also in charge of compliance activities and safety investigations for Australia’s largest recreational maritime fleet.
Prior to this, Mitchell held a similar role as the executive director of NSW Maritime, and was responsible for Australia’s largest state’s primary maritime regulatory, investigative and compliance agency.
Mitchell also served as deputy harbour master – operations for Sydney Ports, and previously served for 14 years as an officer in the Royal Australian Navy in a number of operational and policy roles.
The maritime transport veteran will begin in his new role at the ATSB on 2 September 2021.
ATSB acting chief commissioner and current chief operating officer Colin McNamara welcomed the appointment, following his experience in marine transport safety.
“Angus Mitchell becomes the fourth chief commissioner of the ATSB, and the first with a maritime industry background,” he said.
“We look forward to the extensive experience and expertise Angus will bring to the ATSB, and to our transport safety investigations.”
Speaking of his appointment, Mitchell said, “As the incoming chief commissioner I am excited to bring my 30 years of professional experience to help the ATSB continue to evolve as a global leader in transport safety investigation, research and analysis, and influence the implementation of positive safety action.
“I have long admired and respected the quality and professionalism of the Bureau’s independent ‘no-blame’ investigation reports, and I am looking forward to helping ensure the ATSB continues as a world-leading best practice safety investigation agency which influences the national and international safety agenda.”
Earlier this month, Australian Aviation reported that current ATSB chief commissioner and chief executive Greg Hood had retired from his position.
In a statement, the organisation paid tribute to Hood’s “professionalism, guidance and compassion”.
“Mr Hood retires from the Bureau at the completion of his five-year term, in which time he drove an innovation and transformation agenda at the ATSB, which saw the introduction of world-leading practices like a multi-modal teams approach to investigations, new recruitment practices, a tertiary partnership with RMIT University, and new technologies to support investigations such as remotely piloted aircraft and 3D modelling,” it said.
“All have helped to further establish the ATSB as a global leader in transport safety investigation. During his tenure Mr Hood, with the other members of the ATSB Commission, approved more than 530 aviation, rail and maritime investigation reports for public release to improve transport safety for all Australians.
“In addition, under Mr Hood’s leadership, the ATSB developed a strategic property plan that included the establishment of a Melbourne office and increases in staffing in the agency’s Brisbane and Perth offices, and introduced a replacement program for all enterprise IT systems, including the procurement of a new investigation information management system.
“Mr Hood also served a two-year term as chair of the International Transportation Safety Association (ITSA), the network of the heads of 18 independent transport safety investigation authorities, at a time when the world was navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, and when safe and efficient transport networks were needed like never before.
“He also oversaw a partnership agreement with the Defence Flight Safety Bureau (DFSB) to align accident investigator skillsets and to participate in each other’s investigation activities, and further strengthened the ATSB’s close working relationships with New South Wales’ Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) and Victoria’s chief investigator, transport safety (CITS).
“The Commission thanks Greg Hood for his service, and wishes him the very best for his well-earned retirement.”
Hood was previously an executive general manager at Airservices Australia, and executive manager of operations at CASA.