H.R. 4714: National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization

H.R. 4714

National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization

Date
September 22, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.R. 4714 is expected to be considered on the House floor on Wednesday, September 22, 2010, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage.  This legislation was introduced by Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) on October 10, 2009. 

Bill Summary

H.R. 4714 would authorize the appropriation of $483 million for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for fiscal year 2011 through 2014.

The bill would provide the NTSB with the authority to enter into contracts and other agreements with nonprofit entities, departments, agencies, federal, state, or local governments, and governments of foreign countries to carry out NTSB functions.

The bill would require the NTSB to establish regulation criteria to determine whether it holds public hearings for each accident investigation and safety study it undertakes.

H.R. 4714 would prohibits the NTSB from disclosing the voice or video recordings or transcripts of oral communications between vessel crewmembers in regard to an accident investigation to members of the public; and prevents NTSB representatives of an investigation from disclosing any information to an individual who is not an employee of the NTSB.

The bill would request the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office to study and report to Congress on the use of party representatives in NTSB accident investigations.

The bill would authorize accident investigation training of NTSB employees in theory and technique and on transportation safety methods to advance NTSB safety recommendations.

The bill would authorize appropriations as follows:

  • $117,386,000 for fiscal year 2011;
  • $120,258,000 for fiscal year 2012;
  • $122,187,000 for fiscal year 2013;
  • $124,158,000 for fiscal year 2014.

The bill would revise the NTSB’s authority to investigate transportation accidents which include the following:

  • Accidents in response to an international request and delegation under appropriate international conventions, coordinated through the Department of State and accepted by the NTSB; and
  • Any accident involving a commercial space launch vehicle.

With the consent of the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, NTSB would be authorized to delegate its authority to the Coast Guard to investigate major marine casualty accidents.

The bill would revise the requirement of air carriers to make a reasonable attempt to notify the family of passengers at least 60 days prior to the planned destruction of unclaimed property of passengers.

Cost

According to the Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 4714 would authorize the appropriation of $483 million for the National Transportation Safety Board over the 2011-2014 periods.