NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


September 7, 1999

Washington, D.C. - The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Air Transport Association (ATA) have signed an agreement under which for the first time air carriers have volunteered to pay for extraordinary expenses for crash victim recovery and identification and emergency response.

This agreement is a result of the NTSB and ATA carriers working together since the passage of the Family Affairs Assistance Act to aid families of victims of aircraft accidents.

The agreement states that the ATA carriers will reimburse and/or pay for the logistical and transportation expenses for families who may wish to travel to the accident site. The air carriers have agreed to reimburse local officials for expenses associated with victim recovery and identification including DNA analysis if necessary. The airlines also will reimburse most extraordinary expenses for emergency response.

"This agreement is a huge step in our efforts to provide some comfort to the families of airplane accident victims and to properly reimburse local communities for their efforts," said Jim Hall, Chairman of the NTSB. "We will continue to work with ATA and its members to assist families in their time of need."

"Airline accidents are extremely rare," said ATA president Carol B. Hallett. "But when they do occur, the airline industry and the government both have a responsibility to handle after-accident issues fairly and with sensitivity to both survivors and the families of victims. Today's agreement is both sensitive and fair to all involved in these unfortunate tragedies." Under no circumstances will the NTSB investigation or its related cost be affected by this agreement. Family assistance activities will continue to remain separate from those involving the investigators and the Board Investigator-in-Charge will have jurisdiction over the accident site until it is released.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.