National Transportation Safety Board Marks 50 Years of Saving Lives

ntsb anniversary
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Former NTSB Chairs

ntsb chair


Former NTSB Board Membersntsb board members

Jim Collins, an American business consultant, author (Good to Great ,Built to Last), student and teacher  about company sustainability and growth, has voiced the expert opinion

“that while the business and social sectors have different missions, they are identical in exhibiting the qualities of a great organization. A great organization is one that delivers superior performance while making a distinctive impact over a long period of time.”

On the 50th birthday of this institution, here is the measure of the NTSB’s work:

  • 14,500+ recommendations to improve transportation safety,
  • more than 80 percent have been acted upon favorably
  • early 40 percent of all recommendations and more than 98 percent of all investigations relate to aviation.
  • Currently the Board investigates, on average,
    • 1,600 aviation accidents and incidents,
    • 22 highway crashes,
    • nine rail accidents,
    • three pipeline or hazardous materials accidents,
    • 30 maritime accidents each year, and
    • issues more than 280 recommendations.

ntsb safety recommendations


ntsb mission values

The NTSB has five Board Members, each nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve 5-year terms. It has an annual budget in excess of $100M and employs a staff of 423 FTEs.

The Board has produced significant recommendations for safety improvements for all 6 of the modes of transportation under its jurisdiction. That body of work is signed by the Members shown in the above pictures. However, much of the credit for the NTSB contributions should be addressed to its staff.

ntsb accident investigation

These are the people who spend thousands of hours at the accident sites, in the Board’s laboratory and performing the forensic research that is the basis of the NTSB findings. The Members, too, bring added expertise and judgment which are so valuable to the process.

Oh, by the way, the NTSB is NOT the oldest such institution:

  1. Air Accidents Investigation Branch 1915 (UK)

  1. Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile 1946 (France)

  1. Transportation Safety Board of Canada (Bureau de la sécurité des transports du Canada) (1960 by another name)

  1. National Transportation Safety Board 1967 (US)


  1. Bundesstelle für Flugunfalluntersuchung 1998 (Germany)

  1. Australian Transport Safety Bureau 1999

  1. Komite Nasional Keselamatan Transportasi 1999 (Indonesia)

Komite Nasional Keselamatan Transportasi




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