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National Transportation Safety Board

490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594


Board Members

Board Members
CHAIRRobert L. Sumwalt III
Vice ChairBruce Landsberg

Thomas B. Chapman
Michael E. Graham
Jennifer L. Homendy

Office Heads Reporting to the Board

Office Heads Reporting to the Board
Chief Financial OfficerEdward Benthall

Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity, and InclusionFara D. Guest
Office of Safety Recommendations and CommunicationsDolline Hatchett

General CounselKathleen Silbaugh


Office Heads Reporting to the Managing Director

Office Heads Reporting to the Managing Director
Administrative Law JudgeAlfonso J. Montaño
Information OfficerMichael Anthony

Office of AdministrationSusan Kantrowitz
Office of Aviation SafetyDana Schulze
Office of Highway SafetyRobert J. Molloy
Office of Marine SafetyMorgan Turrell
Office of Railroad, Pipeline, and Hazardous Materials InvestigationsRobert J. Hall
Office of Research and EngineeringJames Ritter

The National Transportation Safety Board investigates accidents, conducts studies, and makes recommendations on safety to Government agencies, the transportation industry, and others.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was established in 1967. On April 1, 1975, the Independent Safety Board Act of 1974 (49 U.S.C. 1111) reestablished the NTSB as an independent agency outside the Department of Transportation.

The NTSB consists of five members whom the President appoints for 5-year terms with the advice and by the consent of the Senate. The President designates two of these members as Chair and Vice Chair of the Board for 2-year terms. The President designates the Chair also with the advice and by the consent of the Senate.

The NTSB's statement of organization has been assigned to part 800 of 49 CFR.

The NTSB posts its organizational chart (NOV 2020) in Portable Document Format (PDF) for viewing and downloading.


Statutory material affecting the NTSB has been codified and assigned to sections 1111–1155 of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 11 of Title 49 is dedicated to the "National Transportation Safety Board."

Rules and regulations that are associated with the NTSB have been codified and assigned to Chapter VIII of Subtitle B in 49 CFR.


Accident Investigation

The NTSB investigates, determines probable cause, makes safety recommendations, and reports the facts and circumstances of the following types of accidents: U.S. civil aviation and certain public-use aircraft accidents; railroad accidents involving a fatality, substantial property damage, or a passenger train; pipeline accidents involving a fatality, substantial property damage, or significant harm to the environment; highway accidents (including railroad grade-crossing accidents) that the NTSB selects in cooperation with the States; major marine casualties and accidents involving a public vessel and a nonpublic vessel; certain accidents involving hazardous materials; and other transportation accidents that are catastrophic, caused by recurring problems, or otherwise should be investigated in the judgment of the Board.

Certificate, Civil Penalty, and License Appeal

On appeal, the NTSB reviews the suspension, amendment, modification, revocation, or denial of certain certificates, licenses, and assessments of civil penalties issued by the Secretary of Transportation. The NTSB also reviews, on appeal from the orders of any administrative law judge, decisions of the Commandant of the Coast Guard that revoke, suspend, or deny certain licenses, certificates, documents, and registers.

Disaster Assistance

The NTSB coordinates the resources of the Federal Government and other organizations to support the efforts of local and State governments and transportation carriers to meet the needs of disaster victims and their families. It assists in making Federal resources available to local authorities and to air, rail, and other transportation carriers.

Safety Problem Identification

The NTSB makes recommendations on matters of transportation safety. It reduces the severity and number of transportation accidents by conducting safety studies and special investigations; assessing accident investigation techniques and publishing recommended procedures; establishing regulatory requirements for reporting accidents; evaluating the transportation safety consciousness and efficacy of other Government agencies in accident prevention; evaluating safeguards and procedures for the transportation of hazardous materials and the performance of other Government agencies charged with ensuring the safe transportation of such materials; and reporting annually to the Congress on its activities.

Sources of Information

Advocacy Priorities

The "Most Wanted List" raises awareness of what may be done to reduce the number of transportation accidents and the loss of life caused by them.

Archived Records

The "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" indicates that NTSB records have been assigned to record group 400. The guide does not contain, however, a description that is currently associated with this record group.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) administered the NTSB until the U.S. Congress designated it as an independent agency by passing the Independent Safety Board Act of 1974 on January 3, 1975. General records of the DOT have been assigned to record group 398.

Business Opportunities

Contractors must be registered with the Federal Contractor Registry to do business with the NTSB.

Career Opportunities

Information on career paths at the NTSB is available on its website. For more information, contact the Human Resources Division, National Transportation Safety Board, Washington, DC 20594. Phone, 202-314-6230.

In 2019, the NTSB ranked 8th among 28 small Government agencies in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

Contact Information

The "Contact the National Transportation Safety Board" web page contains general contact information and regional contact information for aviation safety offices.

The "Media Resources" web page contains contact information and resources for members of the media.

Federal Register

Documents that the NTSB recently published in the Federal Register are accessible online.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

To any person, the FOIA gives a statutory right for obtaining access to Government information that the records of executive branch agencies contain. This right to access is limited, however, when the desired information is shielded from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained within the statute or three special law enforcement record exclusions.


On December 17, 1903, the Wright "Flyer" became the first powered, heavier-than-air, piloted machine to achieve flight that was controlled and sustained. Twenty-three years later, the U.S. Congress charged the Department of Commerce with investigating the causes of aircraft accidents. Today, NTSB investigators are on call around-the-clock, every day of the year, to investigate significant aviation and surface transportation accidents wherever they may occur. To learn more of the NTSB's story, visit the "History of the National Transportation Safety Board" web page.


The NTSB maintains a database of major aviation, highway, marine, pipeline, and railroad investigations, both ongoing and completed, on its website.

Open Government

The NTSB supports the Open Government initiative by promoting the principles of collaboration, participation, and transparency.


Publications are free of charge for the following categories of subscribers: Federal, State, or local transportation agencies; international transportation organizations or foreign governments; educational institutions or public libraries; nonprofit public safety organizations; and the news media. To receive copies of NTSB publications, persons in these categories should contact the Records Management Division, National Transportation Safety Board, Washington, DC 20594. Phone, 202-314-6551. All other persons may download NTSB publications from the agency’s website, or purchase NTSB publications from the National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161. To place an order, call the subscription unit at 703-487-4630 or the sales desk at 703-487-4768. More information is available on the NTSB website.

Reading Room

The NTSB's public reference room is available for record inspection and photocopying. It is located on the 6th floor at the Board's Washington, DC, headquarters and is open on weekdays from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Requests for access to public records should be made in person at the guard desk. Phone, 202-314-6551 or 800-877-6799.

Site Map

The website map allows visitors to look for specific topics or to browse content that aligns with their interests.

Social Media

The NTSB has a Facebook account.

The NTSB tweets announcements and other newsworthy items on Twitter.

The NTSB posts videos on its YouTube channel.

Training Center

NTSB investigators and others from the transportation community improve their practice of accident investigation techniques at the training center. Its curriculum promotes independent, objective, and technically advanced accident investigations to raise levels of safety in all modes of transportation. Forums and symposia are open to the public; however, certain courses are limited to those who may be involved in an NTSB accident investigation or who are members of the emergency response community. Governmental and public organizations may reserve the training and conference center for events. Phone, 571-223-3900. | Email: