Examines 30-Year History Of Transportation Safety
On its 30th anniversary
as a separate, independent agency, the National Transportation
Safety Board Wednesday issued a new publication that examines the
safety improvements that have resulted from over three decades of
transportation accident investigations.
Titled "NTSB: Lessons Learned and Lives Saved," the publication
surveys safety measures inspired by NTSB recommendations in all
modes of transportation - aviation, railroad, highway, marine, and
pipeline and hazardous materials.
"We firmly believe that out of tragedy, good must come," said
Board Chairman Ellen Engelman Conners. "We try to learn as
much as possible from each accident investigation and make
practical, focused recommendations aimed at saving lives, reducing
injuries, and preventing similar accidents in the future."
The NTSB opened its doors on April 1, 1967. Initially,
although operationally independent, it relied on the U.S.
Department of Transportation (DOT) for funding and administrative
support. In 1975, after passage the previous year of the
Independent Safety Board Act, all organizational ties to DOT and
its modal agencies were severed.
Thirty years on, the NTSB has issued more than 12,000
recommendations to over 2,000 recipients in the transportation
community - the regulatory and private sectors of the various
transportation modes. Since the Board does not have
rulemaking or enforcement powers, recommendations are the primary
tools used to pursue safety improvements.
The Board's reputation for impartiality, technical competence,
and for careful examination of the facts and circumstances of an
accident has enabled it to achieve an 80-percent-plus acceptance
rate for its recommendations.
The list of significant NTSB safety recommendation subjects
include those made in aviation. Among them:
- Windshear alert and detection equipment upgrades and
- Anti-collision devices on airliners and cargo airplanes
- Advanced ground proximity warning systems
- Fail-safe thrust reverse systems on jet engines
- Measures for dealing with aircraft icing and structural
While celebrating the Board's 30-year milestone and its record
of conducting objective, independent investigations, Chairman
Engleman Conners noted that the NTSB's work was not finished.
"The Board will continue to build on its safety history and
aggressively advocate adoption and implementation of our
recommendations," she said. "We are committed to
ensuring that the hard-earned lessons derived from our
investigations are not forgotten."