The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was established under the Air Commerce Act of 1926, in which the U.S. Congress held the U.S. Department of Commerce responsible for investigating the causes of aircraft accidents. In 1940, a separate department, the Civil Aeronautics Board’s Bureau of Aviation Safety was created and charged with that responsibility. Congress centralized all transportation agencies into one department, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and created the NSTB as an autonomous agency within the DOT for effective administrative purposes.

Historical Changes Aimed at Efficiency and Autonomy

Congress aimed at establishing the NTSB as an autonomous organization with an explicitly defined mission. As such, the expectation was that it could more efficiently develop a high level of transportation safety than individual agencies working ...

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