The Cost of Doing Business

The National Transportation Safety Board reported that the Biden administration’s proposed 2024 fiscal year budget included the agency’s requested $145-million allotment.

The sought sum reflects an increase of $15.7-million over the NTSB’s fiscal 2023 budget. The additional monies will be plied to the agency’s investigative efforts and the acquisition of new technologies germane to the NTSB’s charter.

If approved by Congress, the appropriation would be the NTSB’s first major funding increase since the mid-1990s. The agency’s staffing—some four-hundred investigators and support personnel—has remained relatively unchanged since 1997. Ergo, recent federal budget increases have covered only mandated salary increases for the board’s extant work force.

The additional monies prescribed in the agency’s fiscal 2024 budget—which current NTSB literature describes as mission-critical investments—will ostensibly allow the agency to hire additional investigators and prepare for current and future challenges to the business of transportation safety—such as self-driving vehicles, drones, air-taxis, and ever increasing numbers of commercial space launches.

Specifically the NTSB’s budgetary increase would facilitate:

  • The hiring of 21 additional investigators and staff.
  • The enhancement of investigators’ and researchers’ training vis-à-vis emerging technologies.
  • The expediting of NTSB reports and other investigative products.
  • The development and modernization of NTSB information technologies.
  • The strengthening of NTSB cybersecurity and enhancement of the agency’s analytical capabilities.

Congress tasks the NTSB with the investigation of all aviation, maritime, railway, roadway, commercial space and pipeline incidents and accidents occurring with the United States and its territories and holdings. Upon determining the probable causes of such mishaps, the NTSB issues safety recommendations with the aim of preventing recurrence. What’s more, the NTSB carries out special studies specific to transportation safety and coordinates federal, state, and local resources for purpose of assisting  persons—accident victims and their family members—impacted by major transportation disasters.?

The most expedient and efficient means by which to report an incident or accident to the NTSB is to call 1-844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290 and speak to a Watch Officer at the agency’s Washington D.C. Response Operations Center (ROC). The antecedent telephone numbers are staffed 24/7.