NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


NTSB CALLS FOR CHANGES IN FAA's AIRLINER DESIGN CERTIFICATION PROCES

April 25, 2006

Washington, DC - In a report adopted today, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended measures to improve the process used by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to evaluate safety-critical systems on transport category aircraft.

"This is a valuable report that goes to the heart of our air safety system," said NTSB Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. "If we are to maintain and improve our safety record, we must be sure to learn from the tragic accidents in the past."

The report considers lessons learned about certification issues in four major accidents investigated by the Board between 1994 and 2001 that, collectively, accounted for 60 percent of the air carrier fatalities in that period.

Overall, the Board found that the FAA's certification process is sound and produces a high level of safety. However, the Board does make three recommendations for mproving the process, dealing with documenting the identification of safety-critical systems, ensuring that the identification process includes evaluation of structural failures and human/airplane system interaction failures, and assessing safety-critical systems throughout the life of the aircraft.

The texts of these recommendations and a synopsis of the report can be found on the NTSB web site at www.ntsb.gov. The complete report will be released at a later date.

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

 

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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.