Doing Business With National Transportation Safety Board

General Info on NTSB<@VM>The CIO file: Linda Harradine

Things to note

NTSB is not part of the Transportation Department or any of its modal agencies. In 1975, the Independent Safety Board Act made NTSB its own entity.

Over its history, NTSB has investigated more than 114,000 aviation accidents and more than 10,000 surface transportation accidents. In 2004, NTSB expects to investigate more than 2,000 transportation accidents.

The NTSB Academy opens its new home at the Ashburn, Va., campus of George Washington University later this summer.

Founded in 2001, the academy's main objective is to train and educate investigators and employees in working for the agency. For now, most courses are geared to
aviation, but the curriculum will expand to other transportation modes in the future. Most of the instructors are NTSB employees who are considered world-class experts in their fields.

NTSB is led by five board members, each nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve five-year terms. Each chairman comes from one of these five people.

Did you know there were no fatal accidents last year for U.S. airlines or commuters? It's true. Check out the official word (

Still afraid to fly? Not buying that line about flying being safer than driving? Perhaps some statistics will help you out.

Aviation accident stats ( are listed by everything from type of aircraft to injuries. The publications section of the Web site ( accident reports and studies for all modes of travel in this country.

490 L'Enfant Plaza SW

Washington, DC 20594

202) 314-6000

Founded: April 1, 1967

Chairman: Ellen Engleman

Employees: 429

What it does: The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent agency that investigates all civil aviation accidents and significant accidents via railroad, highway, water and pipelines. It is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

It determines accident causes, conducts studies and issues safety recommendations for transportation. It coordinates federal assistance to families of victims of catastrophic accidents.

NTSB provides U.S. Accredited Representatives who investigate aviation accidents overseas involving U.S.-registered aircraft, or aircraft or major components made in the United States.

Major components

There are 10 regional aviation offices, four railroad field offices and six highway field offices nationwide. There is an NTSB Academy, which provides education and training to agency employees.

Among its many offices is the Office of Transportation Disaster Assistance (, which works with state and local authorities to meet the needs of transportation disaster victims and their families.

Number crunshing

2004 budget request: $71.5 million

2003 budget: $72.5 million

According to NTSB, the 2004 budget request was put in before the 2003 budget came through, and that is the reason for the budget drop of $1 million. The actual 2004 budget may rise some before it's

Linda Harradine, the NTSB's CIO

Henrik G. DeGyor

Official title: Chief information officer

Took the job: 1998

Hometown: Detroit

Home now: Great Falls, Va.

Family: A daughter, Lauren, who is an architect working in New York; a golden Retriever, Cloe.

Hobbies: Kayaking and rowing, biking, golf

Currently reading: "Rowing to Latitude" by Jill Fredston

Alma mater: Bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Michigan State University; graduate work in computer science at Ohio State University

WT: Are the technology needs of NTSB different or unique from the typical tech needs of an agency?

Harradine: Because of the technical nature of the mission of the NTSB, our work force is predominantly engineers, scientists, metallurgists, meteorologists, researchers and analysts. Demands are ever-present from within the agency to provide the tools and communications capabilities necessary for accident investigation activities: flight data recorder readout and analyses, cockpit voice recorder transcription, graphics, animations and the frequent exchange of large data files.

WT: What do you look for in companies with which you are thinking of doing business?

Harradine: Aside from the obvious attributes of demonstrated technical competence and innovation, I look for companies that are committed to and focused on providing quality customer service and support, as well as share our philosophy of establishing a partnership in defining solutions to meet the challenges of the organization.

WT: A year from now, where do you see NTSB's technology capabilities?

Harradine: Included in initiatives slated for completion within the coming year, the agency will be delivering expanded network capabilities for secure, high-speed remote access through a virtual private network, voice/IP telephony at the NTSB Academy, full implementation of our disaster recovery site and an increase in the amount of information made available to the public via our Web site.

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