Status Explanation

​​Safety Recommendations Database - General Information
The Safety Recommendations Database consists of data on recommendations issued by the NTSB since 1967. The NTSB issues safety recommendations as a result of its investigation of transportation accidents and other safety concerns. Recommendations usually identify a specific problem uncovered during an investigation or study and specify how to correct the situation.
More than 13,000 recommendations have been issued since 1967.
To search, enter your selection criteria into one or more of the boxes on the Database Query form. Some boxes (Mode, for example) contain a list of choices. Other boxes require you to enter the text to search . To be selected, a record must meet all of the criteria you have entered.
Use your mouse or the [TAB] key to move from box to box. The search will return only those records meeting the criteria you have entered. If an overwhelming number of records are returned, try to narrow the search by providing more specific information or by providing entries for more of the boxes. Conversely, if the search does not return the records you are looking for, try reducing the number of search criteria.
Once you have specified the search criteria, click the "Submit Query" button to obtain the desired information. If you would like to start over, click the "Reset" button to clear all entries. When the search is completed, the number of records that have been found will appear at the top of the screen. The rest of the screen will display the first page of the results list.
To be selected, a record must meet all of the criteria you have entered. Multiple recommendations will be displayed by most recent first; however, if using the separate option to search the full text of recommendation letters, results will be displayed by most relevant first.
For other assistance with Safety Recommendations, please contact the Public Inquiries Branch.

Recommendation Number
To find and display a single recommendation number, specify the number from the drop-down boxes in the first area of the query. Do not enter any other information.

To find recommendations for a particular mode of transportation, select the mode from the list of choices. Intermodal recommendations are a unique category that may cross two or more modal areas; however, they will only be represented under intermodal.

Rec Status
The status of a recommendation is "open" until the sufficient action has been achieved to mark it "closed". Please see the chart below for a list and explanation of all the recommendation statuses. Status determination is made periodically by the Board.
Status Assignment Definitions
Status Definition
Closed--Exceeds Recommended Action:  Response by recipient indicates action on the safety recommendation has been completed. The action taken surpasses what the Safety Board envisioned.
Closed--Acceptable Action:  Response by recipient indicates action on the safety recommendation has been completed. The action complies with the safety recommendation.
Closed--Acceptable Alternate Action:  Response by recipient indicates an alternate course of action has been completed that meets the objective of the safety recommendation.
Closed--Unacceptable Action:  Response by recipient expresses disagreement with the need outlined in the recommendation. There is no further evidence to offer, and the Safety Board concludes that further correspondence on, or discussion of, the matter would not change the recipient's position.  This status can also be used when the timeframe goals outlined in this order have not been met.
Closed--Unacceptable Action/No Response Received:  No response to the recommendation was ever received.
Closed--Reconsidered:  Recipient rejects the safety recommendation and supports this rejection with a rationale with which the Board concurs. Reasons for the "Reconsidered" status would include situations where the recipient is able to convince the Board that the proposed action would not be effective or that it might create other problems. This status is also assigned when the recipient of a recommendation was in compliance before the recommendation was issued or when the recipient was incorrectly chosen and cannot perform the recommended action.
Closed--No Longer Applicable:  The recommended action has been overtaken by events.  For example, if technology and/or regulatory action has eliminated the reason for the recommendation or if a company has gone out of business.
Closed--Superseded:  Applied to recommendations held in an open status when a new, more appropriate safety recommendation is issued that includes the necessary elements of the recommendation to be closed.
Closed--Acceptable/Acceptable Alternate/Unacceptable Action Superseded:  Applied to recommendations held in an open status when a new, more appropriate safety recommendation is issued that includes the necessary elements of the recommendation to be closed.  The Board determines the Acceptable/Acceptable Alternate/Unacceptable status based on the criteria defined above prior to superseding the recommendation.
Open--Acceptable Response:  Response by recipient indicates a planned action that would comply with the safety recommendation when completed.
Open--Acceptable Alternate Response:  Response by recipient indicates an alternate plan or implementation program that would satisfy the objective of the safety recommendation when implemented.
Open--Unacceptable Response:  Response by recipient expresses disagreement with the need outlined in the recommendation or attempts to convince the Board (unsuccessfully) that an alternative course of action is acceptable. The Board believes, however, that there is enough supporting evidence to ask the recipient to reconsider its position. This status can also be used when the Board believes that action is not being taken in a timely manner.
Open--Response Received:  Response has been received from recipient, but staff evaluation of the response has not been approved by the Board Members.
Open--Await Response:  When a safety recommendation is issued, the status "Open-Await Response" is automatically assigned.

Most Wanted List
The NTSB’s Most Wanted List represents the NTSB’s advocacy priorities and is designed to increase awareness of the most critical changes needed to reduce transportation accidents and save lives. Safety recommendations are no longer on the Most Wanted List, but the safety recommendations returned by selecting this option illustrate measures that would help address the issues on the list. The NTSB will update the Most Wanted List every year, selecting issues based on the level of progress made addressing them and whether the climate is ripe for change. This search will be updated to reflect the annual changes to the Most Wanted List.

Source Event
The NTSB may issue a recommendation based on a specific accident investigation, or on broader safety studies. If the source event is an accident, the date and location of that accident will also be available in the database.

Geographic location for a specific accident is identified whenever an investigation into that accident prompted a safety recommendation.

Report Number
Recommendations may be issued as part of, or in conjunction with, an Accident Report or Safety Study; if so, the report numbers are included in the database (less reliably for older recommendations). Recent reports are available on the NTSB Web site under "Publications".

Accident Number
The NTSB assigns a unique Accident Number for each investigation. This number is used primarily by those involved in the investigation. If you do not know the Accident Number, search by date and location instead.

Safety recommendation letters are addressed to the entity best able to act on a problem, whether it be public or private. Addressee is a non-standardized text-entry field. Names of specific agencies, organizations, states, or cities may be used, and reflect the name at the time the recommendation was issued. The drop-down choice shows an exhaustive list of all current addressees in the database. While addressees are identified individually in the database, the actual letter salutation may show addressees only in the aggregate.

To limit a search to the time period between two dates, enter start and end dates; the preferred date format is mm/dd/yyyy. To limit the search to a single date, enter that date in the first box and leave the second box blank. The earliest date for which data is available is 1967. The following date fields may be searched:
  • Accident: available when "accident" is a source event for recommendation
  • Issue: always available to indicate when recommendation letter was issued
  • Closed: available unless recommendation is still open