Homendy Applauds Passage of NTSB and FAA Reauthorization Bills


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​​Legislation includes action on critical NTSB priorities 

​WASHINGTON (May 16, 2024) — National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy Thursday applauded the passage of legislation addressing several key NTSB safety recommendations and re-authorizes the agency through fiscal year 2028.

“I’m deeply grateful to Congress for including the NTSB in the FAA reauthorization bill, which authorizes funding increases for our agency over the next five years—much needed resources that will allow us to continue as the world’s preeminent safety agency for years to come,” Homendy said. “Additionally, we appreciate Congress’s safety leadership in mandating the FAA to implement many of our most critical recommendations, which, once acted upon, will further strengthen our nation’s ‘gold standard’ of aviation safety.”

The legislation included a requirement for airlines to install 25-hour cockpit voice recorders, or CVRs, on new and existing aircraft—up from two hours currently.

The NTSB first called on the Federal Aviation Administration to extend the minimum duration of a CVR from two hours to 25 hours following the investigation of a near-collision involving several occupied airliners at San Francisco International Airport in 2017. The audio from that incident was overwritten and unavailable to investigators, as were the recordings from 14 other NTSB investigations since 2018. These investigations include seven serious runway incursions in 2023 and the Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 door plug accident in January.

Last year, the FAA announced plans to require newly manufactured airplanes to have 25-hour CVRs. The FAA proposal does not apply to the current fleet, even though airplanes can be in service for decades. The reauthorization legislation aligns with NTSB recommendations by requiring the installation of 25-hour cockpit voice recorders on new and existing aircraft that require a cockpit voice recorder and a flight data recorder.

The legislation also requires applicable aircraft used in extended overwater operations to be equipped with technology that would allow investigators to recover critical flight data quickly following an accident over water without having to locate physical recorders in underwater search-and-recovery efforts. The NTSB made several related recommendations following the 2014 loss of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 in the ocean, which was never located.

The legislation requires the FAA review and implement, as appropriate, the recommendations made in the NTSB’s 2021 safety research report on preventing turbulence-related injuries on air carriers and report to Congress the status of implementing NTSB recommendations.

And it includes several provisions to strengthen the safety of certain commercial air tour operations about which the NTSB has long been concerned​, including aerial photography and sport parachute operations.

The legislation also boosts funding levels for the NTSB through fiscal year 2028, which will allow the agency to hire more personnel, train its workforce and implement program improvements. Additionally, it provides NTSB with more flexibility to train its workforce on emerging technologies, along with other tools to complete its investigations.

To report an incident/accident or if you are a public safety agency, please call 1-844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290 to speak to a Watch Officer at the NTSB Response Operations Center (ROC) in Washington, DC (24/7).