[House Report 108-83]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



108th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     108-83
======================================================================
 
    NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2003

                                _______
                                

  May 1, 2003.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Transportation and 
                Infrastructure, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1527]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1527) to amend title 49, United 
States Code, to authorize appropriations for the National 
Transportation Safety Board for fiscal years 2003 through 2006, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                       Purpose of the Legislation

    H.R. 1527 reauthorizes the National Transportation Safety 
Board for fiscal years 2003 through 2006. The Board's 
authorization expired on September 30, 2002.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    The NTSB is charged with determining the probable cause of 
transportation accidents and promoting transportation safety. 
The Board investigates accidents, conducts safety studies, and 
evaluates the effectiveness of other government agencies' 
programs for preventing transportation accidents.
    In addition, the NTSB coordinates all Federal assistance to 
families of victims of catastrophic aviation accidents. When 
resources allow, the NTSB provides family assistance for 
accidents in other transportation modes as well.
    The Board also serves as the ``court of appeal'' for 
airmen, mechanics, or mariners whenever the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) or the U.S. Coast Guard takes an adverse 
certificate action against them. In the Aviation Investment and 
Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR 21), Congress expanded the 
Board's jurisdiction to include review of FAA emergency 
revocations of pilot licenses. These emergency revocations take 
effect immediately, and prior to AIR 21 the pilot's only 
recourse was to take the FAA to court.
    Most importantly, the NTSB makes safety recommendations, 
based on its investigations, to Federal, State and local 
government agencies and to the transportation industry 
regarding actions that should be taken to prevent accidents.
    Since 1967, the Board has investigated more than 110,000 
aviation accidents, and at least 10,000 other accidents in 
other transportation modes. The Board also investigates 
accidents involving the transportation of hazardous materials, 
and is the sole U.S. accredited representative at foreign 
aviation accident investigations under the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation.
    NTSB has no authority to issue substantive regulations 
covering the transportation industry. Therefore, its 
effectiveness is dependent upon timely accident reports and 
safety recommendations. According to the NTSB, since its 
inception in 1967, the NTSB has issued almost 12,000 safety 
recommendations in all modes of transportation. Over 82 percent 
of these recommendations have been adopted by the regulatory 
and transportation communities.

NTSB operations

    When the NTSB is notified of a major accident, it launches 
a go-team that varies in size depending on the severity of the 
accident and the complexity of the issues involved. Go-teams 
consist of NTSB investigators who are experts in appropriate 
technical specialties, based on the mode of transportation and 
the nature of the accident. Each Board expert manages an 
investigative group made up of other experts from industry and 
government organizations that are parties to the investigation 
in the collection of the facts surrounding the accident. 
Eventually, each Board expert prepares a factual report that is 
verified for accuracy by each of the party representatives in 
the group. The factual reports are placed in the public docket 
and, after the completion of a formal technical review by the 
team, they constitute the factual record of the investigation.
    After investigating an accident, NTSB determines the 
probable cause and issues a formal report. Parties do not 
participate in the analytical or report-writing phases of NTSB 
investigations, although they may submit their proposed 
findings of probable cause and proposed safety recommendations 
directly to the Board.
    The NTSB is statutorily required to make a probable cause 
determination on all aviation accidents. However, this does not 
mean that the NTSB conducts an on-site investigation of all 
aviation accidents. While the NTSB does investigate significant 
aviation accidents and incidents, for other aviation accidents, 
the Board may instead request the FAA to collect factual 
information. This information is then used by the Board to 
determine the probable cause of the accident. States or other 
agencies often investigate accidents in other modes of 
transportation.

NTSB Training Academy

    In November 2000, the NTSB selected the George Washington 
University as the new home of the NTSB Academy, which will be 
located on the University's Northern Virginia campus in 
Ashburn, adjacent to the U.S. Department of Transportation's 
National Crash Analysis Center. This site was selected pursuant 
to a competitive process, and was supported in the Joint 
Explanatory Statement accompanying the conference report on the 
FY 2001 Transportation Appropriations Act.
    The NTSB and the University signed a 20-year lease in July 
2001. Construction is on schedule and acceptance of the 
building and commencement of rent payments should begin as 
previously scheduled on August 1, 2003. The state-of-the-art, 
72,000-square-foot facility will contain five classrooms, a 
large laboratory to house the three-dimensional, 93-foot 
reconstruction of the forward portion of the TWA flight 800 
aircraft's fuselage, additional laboratory spaces, a 
simulations court, meeting rooms, student and teacher work 
areas, and offices.
    The new facility will enable the NTSB to train its own 
investigators and the transportation community in accident 
investigation techniques. In addition to refining and making 
the NTSB's current accident investigation course more 
accessible, the NTSB will offer courses in all transportation 
modes in areas such as human factors, survival factors, vehicle 
performance, interviewing techniques, accident scene 
documentation, and investigation management. The new courses--
human factors, survival factors, and interviewing techniques--
are in the final phase of development and are scheduled to be 
delivered late in calendar year 2003 and early 2004. A total of 
15 courses have been identified for development and plans are 
underway for offering these courses.

Authorized funding levels

    The Committee supports the authorized funding levels 
requested by the NTSB. The table below shows the NTSB's FY 2003 
appropriation level, the FY 2004 President's request level, and 
the authorization levels that are requested by the NTSB for FYs 
2004-2006.

                                              [Dollars in millions]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            2004
                                                                  2003      Pres.     2004      2005      2006
                                                                 Enacted    bud.      Auth.     Auth.     Auth.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Salaries & Expenses:
    Funding...................................................   $68.632   $67.215   $78.757   $83.011   $87.539
    Full-Time Equivalent Staff................................       433       397       469       469       469
Training Academy:
    Funding...................................................    $3.347    $4.265    $4.896    $4.995    $5.200
    Full-Time Equivalent Staff................................         7         6        10        10        10
Total, NTSB Salaries & Expenses:
    Funding...................................................   $71.979   $71.480   $83.653   $88.006   $92.739
    Full-Time Equivalent Staff................................       440       403       479       479       479
NTSB Emergency Fund...........................................  ........     $.587     (\1\)     (\1\)     (\1\)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Emergency Fund currently has a balance of $1.413 million. The 2004 Budget requests an additional $587
  million to restore the balance to the current authorized level of $2 million. H.R. 1527 would authorize the
  NTSB to maintain a $6 million balance, which would allow a further appropriation of $4 million to the Fund.

    The FY 2004 President's budget requests $71.48 million for 
the NTSB, $499 thousand below the FY 2003 enacted level, which 
was not yet known at the time the President's budget was 
formulated. This reduction in total funding, together with 
increased costs related to pay raises, benefit cost increases, 
inflation, and costs associated with the start-up of the NTSB 
Training Academy, would require the NTSB to reduce staff by 37 
FTEs in FY 2004.
    The NTSB has requested an FY 2004 authorization level of 
$83.65 million, which is $12.2 million higher than the 
President's budget request. This $12.2 million increase above 
the President's request would fund 479 full-time equivalent 
staff-years, which is 39 FTEs more than the FY 2003 enacted 
level and 76 FTEs more than the FY 2004 President's budget 
level.
    The further increases in funding requested for FY 2005 and 
FY 2006 would simply maintain NTSB operations at the FY 2004 
authorized level.
    The bill also authorizes a higher funding level for the 
NTSB's Emergency Fund. The Fund's current authorized level of 
$2 million is not always sufficient to cover the costs of an 
expensive accident investigation, especially where underwater 
wreckage recovery is required. In such cases, the NTSB's 
solvency is at risk until a supplemental appropriation can be 
enacted. For example, the NTSB was in danger of running out of 
funds in FY 2000 until the supplemental appropriation for the 
Egypt Air and Alaska Air investigations was finally enacted in 
July 2000. A larger Emergency Fund would ensure that accident 
investigations could continue without any delay and without 
jeopardizing the Board's normal operations due to a temporary 
lack of funds. Therefore, the bill authorizes the appropriation 
of such sums that may be necessary to maintain the Emergency 
Fund at a level of $6 million.

Use of increased funds to hire additional field investigators

    There is a wealth of knowledge gained from investigating 
general aviation accidents. Determining root causes for these 
accidents is important to the safety of the national 
transportation system. The data gathered during these 
investigations by the NTSB assist aircraft manufacturers in 
determining how aircraft can be made safer. However, due to an 
inadequate number of field investigators, the NTSB is not 
developing all potential safety recommendations. The NTSB field 
investigators are overworked and are carrying caseloads well 
above their optimum levels. The Committee encourages funding of 
the authorized amounts in this bill to help the NTSB hire 
additional field investigators. This will ensure that accidents 
are thoroughly investigated by NTSB experts and that data 
leading to safety recommendations is made available in a timely 
manner.

Notification of appeal rights

    The Committee has been contacted by aircraft operators who 
have concerns with the criteria that the NTSB uses to classify 
an event as an ``accident.'' Their concern is that the criteria 
that NTSB uses are not fully articulated and that there is no 
procedure to question an NTSB field inspector's decision that a 
particular incident should be classified as an accident. 
Whether or not an incident is classified as an accident can 
have serious implications for an operator's FAA certificate and 
on the insurance premiums that the operator will pay. Section 3 
of the bill addresses this issue by requiring the NTSB to 
notify aircraft owners and operators of their right to appeal a 
determination by an NTSB employee that a non-fatal event 
associated with the operation of an aircraft constitutes an 
accident.

Family assistance

    Section 5 of the bill responds to the NTSB's request for a 
statutory change to the Board's responsibility to provide 
assistance to families of passengers involved in aircraft 
accidents resulting from intentional criminal acts. Current law 
triggers the NTSB's family affairs response irrespective of the 
suspected cause of the accident. This is necessary to provide 
family assistance without any delay due to uncertainty about 
which agency will lead the investigation. Although the NTSB 
Amendments Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-424) established a mechanism 
for the transfer of investigative priority from the NTSB to the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the event of an 
accident caused by an intentional criminal act, no mechanism 
for the transfer of family affairs responsibility was requested 
or provided.
    Based on the events of September 11, 2001, the NTSB 
believes that such a mechanism is needed. The NTSB believes 
that, if investigative responsibility is transferred to the 
FBI, then the responsibility for family assistance should be 
transferred as well. This is necessary because when the FBI has 
investigative priority, the site of the crash is considered a 
crime scene and access to the scene and release of information 
about the investigation are much more restricted than when the 
NTSB has investigative priority.
    According to the NTSB, since September 11th, the FBI has 
recognized the need to have a stronger program to respond to 
victims for events of this magnitude. In January 2002, the 
Director of the FBI announced a reorganization of the Office of 
Victims Assistance (OVA). The new Program Director of OVA is 
responsible for designing a program to work with the NTSB and 
other agencies to support victims in terrorist and criminal 
events resulting in mass fatalities. The FBI has hired 92 of 
112 Victim Assistance Specialists who will be assigned to 
headquarters and regional offices around the country, and who 
will be organized into quick response teams in the event of a 
criminal act resulting in mass fatalities. The FBI is currently 
in the process of providing training to all the specialists. In 
addition, the Bureau has hired a Victim Coordinator for 
terrorism cases. According to the NTSB, an FY 2004 budget is 
currently being developed by the Bureau to support the 
activities of this program and Memorandums of Understanding 
(MOU) are also being developed with other Federal agencies. 
This should provide the necessary infrastructure for the FBI to 
assume the NTSB's family assistance responsibilities in the 
event of an aircraft accident caused by an intentional criminal 
act.

                       Summary of the Legislation


Sec. 1. Short title

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Transportation 
Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2003''.

Sec. 2. Authorization of appropriations

    Subsection (a) authorizes the appropriation of $73,325,000 
for fiscal year 2003, $78,757,000 for fiscal year 2004, 
$83,011,000 for fiscal year 2005, and $87,539,000 for fiscal 
year 2006 to fund authorized activities of the National 
Transportation Safety Board.
    Subsection (b) authorizes the appropriation of such sums as 
may be necessary to increase the NTSB's Emergency Fund to, and 
maintain the Fund at, a level not to exceed $6,000,000.
    Subsection (c) authorizes the appropriation of $3,347,000 
for fiscal year 2003, $4,896,000 for fiscal year 2004, 
$4,995,000 for fiscal year 2005, and $5,200,000 for fiscal year 
2006 for necessary expenses of the NTSB Academy.

Sec. 3. Accident and safety data classification and publication

    Section 3 requires that, in any case in which an employee 
of the NTSB determines that a non-fatal event associated with 
the operation of an aircraft constitutes an accident, the 
employee must notify the aircraft owner or operator of the 
right to appeal that determination to the NTSB. Section 3 also 
requires the NTSB to establish and publish procedures for such 
appeals. The requirements of this section could be met simply 
by amending the NTSB's existing ``Pilot/Operator Aircraft 
Accident Report'' form to include a notification of appeal 
rights and procedures.

Sec. 4. Secretary of Transportation's responses to safety 
        recommendations

    Section 4 requires the Secretary of Transportation to 
submit a report to Congress and the NTSB on February 1st of 
each year containing the regulatory status of each 
recommendation made by the NTSB to the Secretary that the NTSB 
includes in its ``most wanted list'' of safety improvements. 
The Secretary must continue to report annually on the status of 
each such recommendation until either final action is taken, or 
the Secretary determines and states in such a report that no 
action should be taken. Section 4 also provides that, if on 
March 1st of each year the NTSB has not received the required 
report, then the NTSB shall notify Congress of the Secretary's 
failure to submit the report. The Secretary's report should not 
merely state whether or not the Department of Transportation 
accepts the recommendation, but should describe what regulatory 
action it plans to take, when it intends to take the action, or 
when it will make a decision on the issues raised by the 
recommendation.

Sec. 5. Assistance to families of passengers involved in aircraft 
        accidents

    Section 5 provides that, if the NTSB has relinquished 
investigative priority for an aviation accident, and the 
Federal agency to which the NTSB has relinquished investigative 
priority is willing and able to provide assistance to the 
victims and families of the passengers involved in the 
accident, then the NTSB is relieved of its family assistance 
duties under section 1136 of title 49, United States Code. 
Section 5 further provides that, in such a case, the NTSB shall 
assist, to the maximum extent possible, the agency to which the 
NTSB has relinquished investigative priority in assisting 
families with respect to the accident. Finally, section 5 
requires the NTSB and the FBI to revise their 1977 agreement on 
the investigation of accidents within one year of enactment to 
take into account the amendments made by this section.

Sec. 6. Technical amendments

    Section 6 makes technical corrections to the margins in 
section 1131(a)(2) of title 49, United States Code.

            Legislative History and Committee Consideration

    H.R. 1527 was introduced by Chairman Don Young, Ranking 
Member James Oberstar, Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John 
Mica, and Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio on 
April 1, 2003. It was referred to the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure. A full committee mark-up was 
held on April 9, 2003, where the legislation was ordered 
reported to the House by voice vote.

                             Rollcall Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each rollcall vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. There 
were no rollcall votes during consideration of the bill.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee 
references the report of the Congressional Budget Office 
included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objective of this legislation are to 
improve transportation safety.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
1527 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, April 17, 2003.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1527, the National 
Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2003.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Rachel 
Milberg.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1527--National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 
        2003

    Summary: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) 
investigates every civil aviation accident and significant 
accidents in other modes of transportation. Over the 2003-2006 
period, H.R. 1527 would authorize the appropriation of an 
additional $274 million for NTSB activities and its training 
academy, including amounts necessary for the agency to maintain 
an emergency fund of $6 million at all times.
    Assuming appropriation of amounts authorized by the bill, 
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1527 would cost $270 
million over the 2003-2008 period. Enacting the bill would not 
affect direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 1527 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1527 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 400 
(transportation).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                              2003     2004     2005     2006     2007     2008
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Spending Under Current Law:
    Budget Authority \1\..................................       72        0        0        0        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................       70        7        0        0        0        0
Proposed Changes:
    Authorization Level...................................        9       84       88       93        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................        4       76       88       93        9        0
Spending Under H.R. 1527:
    Authorization Level...................................       81       84       88       93        0        0
    Estimated Outlays.....................................       74       83       88       93        9        0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 2003 level is the amount appropriated thus far for the National Transportation Safety Board.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
1527 will be enacted in fiscal year 2003 and that the 
authorized amounts will be appropriated for each year. 
Estimates of spending are based on information from NTSB and 
historical spending patterns for these programs.

NTSB and its Academy

    For fiscal year 2003, H.R. 1527 would authorize the 
appropriation of $77 million. Because $72 million has already 
been appropriated for these activities in 2003, CBO estimates 
that implementing this provision of the bill would require the 
appropriation of an additional $5 million. CBO assumes that the 
additional budget authority would be provided in a supplemental 
appropriations act in 2003. Over the 2004-2006 period, the bill 
would authorize the appropriation of $265 million for the NTSB.

Emergency Fund

    Current law authorizes the appropriation of amounts 
necessary to maintain balances in the emergency fund of $2 
million. H.R. 1527 would increase the authorization to $6 
million. (The emergency fund currently has a balance of about 
$1.5 million.) Implementing this provision of H.R. 1527 would 
require the appropriation of $4 million in 2003.
    NTSB does not use the emergency fund on a regular basis, 
and CBO does not estimate any outlays from the fund over the 
2003-2008 period. Consequently, we estimate that the emergency 
fund would not require any additional appropriations to 
maintain the fund at $6 million over the next five years.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1527 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Previous CBO estimate: On March 20, 2003, CBO transmitted a 
cost estimate for S.579, the National Transportation Safety 
Board Reauthorization Act of 2003, as ordered reported by the 
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on 
March 13, 2003. The two versions of the bill are similar, and 
the estimated costs are the same; however, the Senate version 
would authorize the appropriation of amounts necessary to 
maintain balances in the emergency fund of $3 million.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Rachel Milberg; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Greg Waring; and 
Impact on the Private Sector: Jean Talarico.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause (3)(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, committee reports on a bill or 
joint resolution of a public character shall include a 
statement citing the specific powers granted to the Congress in 
the Constitution to enact the measure. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure finds that Congress has the 
authority to enact this measure pursuant to its powers granted 
under article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act. (Public Law 104-4).

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1994 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local or 
tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 1527 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act. (Public Law 
104-1.)

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

               CHAPTER 11 OF TITLE 49, UNITED STATES CODE


CHAPTER 11--NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SUBCHAPTER II--ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



Sec. 1118. Authorization of appropriations

  (a) In General.--There are authorized to be appropriated for 
the purposes of this chapter $57,000,000 for fiscal year 2000, 
$65,000,000 for fiscal year 2001, [and] $72,000,000 for fiscal 
year 2002, [such sums to] $73,325,000 for fiscal year 2003, 
$78,757,000 for fiscal year 2004, $83,011,000 for fiscal year 
2005, and $87,539,000 for fiscal year 2006. Such sums shall 
remain available until expended.
  (b) Emergency Fund.--The Board has an emergency fund of 
$2,000,000 available for necessary expenses of the Board, not 
otherwise provided for, for accident investigations. [Amounts 
equal to the amounts expended annually out of the fund are 
authorized to be appropriated to the emergency fund.] In 
addition, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as 
may be necessary to increase the fund to, and maintain the fund 
at, a level of not to exceed $6,000,000.
  (c) Academy.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the 
Board for necessary expenses of the National Transportation 
Safety Board Academy, not otherwise provided for, $3,347,000 
for fiscal year 2003, $4,896,000 for fiscal year 2004, 
$4,995,000 for fiscal year 2005, and $5,200,000 for fiscal year 
2006. Such sums shall remain available until expended.

Sec. 1119. Accident and safety data classification and 
                    publication

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Appeals.--
          (1) Notification of rights.--In any case in which an 
        employee of the Board determines that an occurrence 
        associated with the operation of an aircraft 
        constitutes an accident, the employee shall notify the 
        owner or operator of that aircraft of the right to 
        appeal that determination to the Board.
          (2) Procedure.--The Board shall establish and publish 
        the procedures for appeals under this subsection.
          (3) Limitation on applicability.--This subsection 
        shall not apply in the case of an accident that results 
        in a loss of life.

                       SUBCHAPTER III--AUTHORITY

Sec. 1131. General authority

  (a) General.--(1) * * *
  (2)(A) * * *
  (B) If the Attorney General, in consultation with the 
Chairman of the Board, determines and notifies the Board that 
circumstances reasonably indicate that the accident may have 
been caused by an intentional criminal act, the Board shall 
relinquish investigative priority to the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation. The relinquishment of investigative priority by 
the Board shall not otherwise affect the authority of the Board 
to continue its investigation under this section.
  (C) If a Federal law enforcement agency suspects and notifies 
the Board that an accident being investigated by the Board 
under subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (1) may 
have been caused by an intentional criminal act, the Board, in 
consultation with the law enforcement agency, shall take 
necessary actions to ensure that evidence of the criminal act 
is preserved.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1135. Secretary of Transportation's responses to safety 
                    recommendations

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(d) Reports to Congress.--The Secretary shall submit to 
Congress on January 1 of each year a report containing each 
recommendation on transportation safety made by the Board to 
the Secretary during the prior year and a copy of the 
Secretary's response to each recommendation.]
  (d) Reporting Requirements.--
          (1) Annual secretarial regulatory status reports.--On 
        February 1 of each year, the Secretary shall submit a 
        report to Congress and the Board containing the 
        regulatory status of each significant safety 
        recommendation made by the Board to the Secretary (or 
        to an Administration within the Department). The 
        Secretary shall continue to report on the regulatory 
        status of each such recommendation in the report due on 
        February 1 of subsequent years until final regulatory 
        action is taken on that recommendation or the Secretary 
        (or an Administration within the Department) determines 
        and states in such a report that no action should be 
        taken.
          (2) Failure to report.--If on March 1 of each year 
        the Board has not received the Secretary's report 
        required by this subsection, the Board shall notify the 
        Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the 
        House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, 
        Science, and Transportation of the Senate of the 
        Secretary's failure to submit the required report.
          (3) Significant safety recommendation defined.--For 
        the purposes of this subsection, the term ``significant 
        safety recommendation'' means a recommendation included 
        in the Board's ``most wanted list''.
          (4) Termination.--This subsection shall cease to be 
        in effect after the report required to be filed on 
        February 1, 2008, is filed.

Sec. 1136. Assistance to families of passengers involved in 
                    aircraft accidents

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (j) Relinquishment of Investigative Priority.--
          (1) General rule.--This section (other than 
        subsection (g)) shall not apply to an aircraft accident 
        if the Board has relinquished investigative priority 
        under section 1131(a)(2)(B) and the Federal agency to 
        which the Board relinquished investigative priority is 
        willing and able to provide assistance to the victims 
        and families of the passengers involved in the 
        accident.
          (2) Board assistance.--If this section does not apply 
        to an aircraft accident because the Board has 
        relinquished investigative priority with respect to the 
        accident, the Board shall assist, to the maximum extent 
        possible, the agency to which the Board has 
        relinquished investigative priority in assisting 
        families with respect to the accident.

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