John E. Robson yesterday announced that he has submitted to President Carter his resignation both as chairman and as a member of the Civil Aeronautics Board.

Although his resignation was not requested, Robson told the President in a Jan. 21 letter that he was resigning both "so that you may appoint a chairman of your own selection" and out of a "personal desire to return to private life." Last month, Robson was redesignated chairman of the CAB through 1977 by President Ford.

Robson asked that his resignation be effective April 30.

A Republican, Robson became chairman of the CAB in April 1975 following a period of unprecedented criticism of the agency's leadership, policies, and procedures from Congress and the White House.

His tenure at the board was hailed yesterday by one of the board's frequent and vociferous critics in the last few years, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who had chaired extensive hearings in 1974 and 1975 by the Senate Administrative Practice and Procedure Subcommittee on the board's performance.

"The two years that John Robson has served at the CAB has been a productive and creative period for airline regulation," Kennedy said yesterday. "John Robson's chairmanship has been characterized by intellectual honesty, high ethical standards and progressive reform . . . He conducted the public's business openly and efficiently, and he has been in the vanguard of efforts to revitalize competition in the airline industry to better serve the transportation needs of the American public."

In his letter to President Carter, Robson made a pitch for the new administration's support of legislative change.