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NTSB Training Center
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NTSB Training Center


The NTSB Training Center is the training facility for the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent federal agency that investigates all civil aviation accidents in the United States and selected accidents in other modes of transportation.

The Training Center provides training for NTSB investigators and others from the transportation community to improve their practice of accident investigation techniques. The curriculum promotes independent, objective, and technically advanced accident investigations that will enhance the safety of all modes of transportation.

The Mission of the NTSB Training Center is to promote safe transport by:
  • Ensuring and improving the quality of accident investigation through critical thought, instruction, and research;
  • Communicating lessons learned, fostering the exchange of new ideas and new experience, and advocating operational excellence;
  • Providing a modern platform for accident reconstruction and evaluation; and
  • Utilizing its high-quality training resources to facilitate family assistance and first responder programs, sister agency instruction, and other compatible federal activity.
Located on the Virginia campus of The George Washington University in Ashburn, the Training Center is ten miles from Washington Dulles Airport and 30 miles from Washington, D.C.

Driving directions, maps, and a link to the virtual tour of our facility are available on the Campus page.
Practical Training
Recognizing the importance of using the training material in the real world environment, Training Center courses emphasis examples, demonstrations and, when appropriate, hands-on training. Participants leave the course with useful information and skills that can be applied immediately.
Practical training at the NTSB - Students looking at airplane wreckage.
The Training Center facility also houses the Board’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Office for aviation accident investigation. In May 2004, the complete wreckage of a Cessna 208 was brought to the lab, enabling NTSB investigators to thoroughly examine and document the aircraft components within the Training Center’s secure facilities. This is a departure from years past when the Board has had to rely on its parties or others for such space. The football field-sized laboratory serves not just as an instructional venue, but also as a resource for active investigations.
The Training Center offers a variety of courses ranging in length from one day to two weeks, with wide applicability outside of the field of transportation accident investigation, such as Cognitive Interviewing for Accident Investigators, Investigating Human Fatigue Factors and the Photo documentation Series.
Training Center Course in progress.

Most courses offered at the Training Center are open to those outside the Safety Board. In fact, the majority of those attending Training Center courses are from transportation and emergency response communities outside the NTSB.
The majority of the courses taught at the Training Center are developed and delivered by NTSB staff. Nearly 25 NTSB investigators and staff provided instruction during the Training Center’s first year. Outside instructors are used to supplement NTSB expertise in order to ensure the most comprehensive presentations.
An instructor leading a typical class at the NTSB Training Center
The Training Center has identified outside subject matter experts to instruct on special topics including experts from the Global Maritime and Transportation School, various universities and other identified experts in relevant fields of study.
Who May Attend
The Training Center does not enroll participants, as would a traditional academic institution. Since courses have differing admissions criteria, prospective participants are admitted on a course-by-course basis.
While forums and symposia are open to the public, certain courses are limited to those who may be directly involved in an NTSB accident investigation or are members of the emergency response community. See the Who May Attend section included in each course description for further details.
Brief History
The NTSB Training Center was established to improve the training and skills of its own employees, and make its safety expertise more widely available to the diverse transportation community. In 2000, the NTSB selected The George Washington University as the Training Center’s home. In 2001, the NTSB and the university signed a 20-year lease. The new training facility opened in August 2003 in Ashburn, Virginia.

Partnerships and Alliances

Partnerships and alliances - Photo of a meeting between the NTSB and other federal agenciesIn its effort to meet the training needs of those in other areas of the government and the transportation and emergency response communities, the Training Center has formed relationships with federal agencies and private organizations. The following is a partial list of the organizations participating in partnerships and alliances with the NTSB Training Center:

  • Airports Council International of North America (ACI-NA)
  • Air Transport Association (ATA)
  • Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP)
  • Aviation Safety Alliance (ASA)
  • Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS)
  • National Association of State Boating Laws Administrators (NASBLA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • New Jersey State Police (NJSP)
  • Transportation Safety Institute (TSI)
  • Regional Airline Association (RAA)
  • Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
We will continue to develop mutually beneficial relationships, enhancing the level of understanding and cooperation within and between organizations and the NTSB. View the detail of courses, forums and symposia offered in partnership.