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Remarks at the Aviation Accident Investigation Workshop, Singapore
Jim Hall
Aviation Accident Investigation Workshop, Singapore

Thank you, Mr. Bong, for inviting me to present certificates of completion to the graduates of the third Aviation Accident Investigation Workshop at the Singapore Aviation Academy. I am pleased that members of the National Transportation Safety Board's staff could once again be a part of this worthwhile endeavor.

Indeed, we sent some of our best and most experienced investigators to participate in the workshop. What makes the training the Board provides as good as it is, is our instructors' dedication, their commitment to the highest standards of aviation safety, and most importantly, their depth of experience in investigating aircraft accidents. Collectively, Keith McGuire, Jim Ritter and Barry Strauch have more than 48 years of experience in aviation safety. I hope all of you have been able to take advantage of their presence here to learn as much as you can - and to share your experiences with them.

Many of you here today have been involved in aviation safety for many years; some of you are just entering the field for the first time. Make no mistake; you have chosen an ennobling profession - one that is dedicated to ensuring the safety and well being of those who board an aircraft anywhere in the world. Moreover, it is a profession in which one individual can make a difference by helping to identify and correct deficiencies that can threaten that safety.

For instance, in recent years, as a result of NTSB investigations, the Board has made recommendations to require fire detection and suppression systems in the cargo compartments of air transport aircraft, to equip aircraft with enhanced ground proximity warning systems, to match navigation data on electronic displays with corresponding data on paper navigation charts, and to provide more prominent warnings on taxiways that intersect with runways. I have no doubt that these recommendations, made by just a few of our investigators, have and will save lives.

However, we all know that aviation safety can be improved - and that we all are responsible for making that happen. We must all work together - by conducting thorough, impartial investigations and by sharing information on the accidents that do occur. We're doing a good job of that - but we can do better and we have been working together with investigators around the world when their governments have the unfortunate task of investigating an airline accident. In the past year alone we have worked with investigators from the Philippines on an accident involving a Fed Ex MD-11 that crashed during landing in Subic Bay, investigators from China on an accident involving a Korean Air MD-11 that crashed after takeoff from Shanghai, and with investigators from Hong Kong on an accident involving a China Airlines MD-11 that crashed on landing in Hong Kong.

We all share a common goal - to prevent accidents and save lives. Because of the work and dedication of everyone in this room, I know that we'll continue to make aviation even safer than it already is. As you each return to your own country, I urge you to use the skills and knowledge that you have gained during this workshop to hone your skills and to maintain the relationships that you have established with your classmates, the Singapore Aviation Academy, and the National Transportation Safety.

Congratulations on your achievement and best wishes in your future endeavors. I will now award the certificates.