Thomas R. Anthony


Present position as Director of the USC Aviation Safety and Security Program.
Instructor in Aviation Safety Management Systems, Aircraft Accident Investigations, SMS for Managers, and Aviation Security courses since 2007.

Member of the Technical Advisory Board for Aviation Safety to SCOOT Airlines.
Member of the Business Aircraft Advisory Committee to the Flight Safety Foundation.

Served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Safe Skies Alliance. Served as a member of the Advisory Board to the Bombardier Safety Standdown.

Established the current USC Aircraft Accident Investigation lab comprising twelve aircraft wreckages to serve as case study examples in the courses Aircraft Accident Investigation, Helicopter Accident Investigation, Gas Turbine Accident Investigation, Incident Investigation and Analysis, Safety Management for Remotely Piloted Vehicles, and Aviation Security Management Systems.

Have appeared on national and international news media for commentary on aircraft accidents, aviation security mishaps, and investigative processes. These include international broadcasts on CNN following MH370, a television broadcast in Mandarin, and several interviews on BBC.

Authored and co-authored several articles in AeroSafety World, including The Rogue Pilot Phenomenon, which addresses the issues attendant to pilot murder-suicide as in the Germanwings case. Several articles relating to the noticing of hazards were published.

Presented papers at the Flight Safety Foundation’s International Aviation Safety Seminar in Santiago, Chile, the ISASI International Conference in Augsburg, Germany, the Business Aviation Safety Seminar in San Antonio, Texas, and the World Food Program’s Humanitarian Aviation Conference in Marakesh, Morocco; Madrid, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Geneva, Switzerland; and Sharm el Sheik, Egypt. Delivered papers on Threat and Error Management to international conferences hosted by: the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI), and the CHC Safety Summit in Vancouver, Canada.

Participated in the Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) for the proposed FAA regulation on SMS for aircraft operators. Serves as the President of the Southern California Chapter of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI). Delivered papers on Threat and Error Management to international conferences hosted by the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI), the Columbia Helicopter Corporation (CHC), and the NBAA/ Flight Safety Foundation at CASS.

 Served as mentor for an undergraduate computer engineering course project, which won first place in a national competition for airport improvement projects. Sponsored numerous ISASI scholarship winners for college undergraduates. Taught courses in Safety Management Systems in diverse international locations, including South Africa and Korea.

Before tenure as the Director of the USC Aviation Safety and Security Program, was employed by DMJM H&N. Participated in several airport projects involving the design and construction of aviation security infrastructure, including the Virgin Galactic Spaceport America.

Served as a consultant for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Aviation Security. Conducted training in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Auckland, New Zealand for ICAO.

Served as the FAA Regional Division Manager for Civil Aviation Security in the Western Pacific Region. Directed the aviation security oversight of domestic and international airports, air carriers, and indirect air carriers within the region.

Served as the Federal Security Director of the Palm Springs International, Yuma International, and Imperial County Airports.

Directed emergency security response to the World Trade Center II attacks and provided investigative efforts on the aviation activities of the hijackers. Served as the FAA point of contact and provided investigative assistance in the al-Qaeda Ahmed Ressam Borderbomb case. Directed investigative efforts at the Los Angeles point of departure for Egypt Air 990.

As FAA Division Manager for Civil Aviation Security managed and directed assessments and inspections of U.S. registered aircraft operators, foreign registered aircraft operators, and international airports throughout the Pacific and Asia areas. I participated in the writing and review of international assessment reports for compliance with federal regulations and ICAO standards and recommended practices.

Served as the Assistant Regional Division Manager of the FAA Western Pacific Region's Civil Aviation Security Division. Participated in the investigation and security response to the al Qaeda threat against U.S. air carriers throughout Asia, known as The Bojinka Plot by Ramzi Yousef. Drafted and implemented emergency aviation security regulations to prevent the transportation of PCP by air (Security Directive 94-07). Implemented emergency regulations throughout the region in response to the Unibomber emergency.

Directed FAA investigative efforts concerning Suspected Unapproved Parts for aircraft. Participated in federal task force investigations and prosecutions. Drafted training material for FAA Aviation Safety Inspectors concerning investigating Suspected Unapproved Parts cases.

Served as the Manager of the FAA Investigations Branch, Office of Civil Aviation Security, FAA Headquarters, Washington, D.C

Served as the program manager for FAA Civil Aviation Security training in FAA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Developed standardized training for all FAA agents on investigative procedures and hazardous materials compliance. Developed a common reporting format of investigative results for use in both regulatory compliance cases as well as internal investigative cases.

From 1980 through 1987, served in management, supervisory, and journeyman positions in the Air Traffic Division of the FAA in four facilities throughout the Western Pacific Region in California, USA.

Graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1970.


  • The IHTAR Anomaly Model, AeroSafety World, March 2012 (with Chris Nutter)
  • The Need to Notice Hazards, AeroSafety World, September 2011 (with Chris Nutter)
  • SMS on Wheels, AeroSafety World, September 2009.
  • Wake Me When My Shift is Over, AeroSafety World, March 2009.
  • Airport Security Programmes: revising and approving, Aviation Security International,
    April 2006.
  • Air Cargo Security Rule Changes, Air Cargo World, November 2006
  • Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Managers Handbook, Chapter 9 Air Cargo Security


  • Recommended Security Guidelines for Airport Planning, Design and Construction, Transportation Security Administration (third revision)
  • Federal Aviation Administration Investigations Handbook, FAA Directive 1600.20B

Published on February 15th, 2019

Last updated on September 14th, 2023