Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (05/15/2003)

National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2003 - (Sec. 2) Amends Federal transportation law to extend the authorization of appropriations for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), including the NTSB Academy, for FY 2003 through 2006.

Authorizes such appropriations as may be necessary to increase the emergency fund from $2 million to $6 million.

(Sec. 3) Requires an NTSB employee, in any case in which the employee determines that an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft constitutes an accident (except when there is loss of life), to notify the owner or operator of that aircraft of the right to appeal that determination to the NTSB.

(Sec. 4) Revises requirements for the Secretary of Transportation's annual report to Congress on each transportation safety recommendation of the NTSB and the Secretary's response. Requires the Secretary to report annually to Congress and the NTSB on the regulatory status of each significant NTSB safety recommendation. Requires the NTSB to report to Congress any failure of the Secretary to make such a report.

Defines the term "significant safety recommendation" as a recommendation included in the Board's "most wanted list" and any recommendation concerning 15-passenger van safety, railroad grade crossing safety, and medical certifications for a commercial driver's license.

(Sec. 5) Relieves the NTSB of the duty to render specified assistance to families of passengers involved in an aircraft accident if the NTSB has relinquished its investigative priority to investigate it and the Federal agency to which it has relinquished such priority is willing and able to provide assistance to the victims and families of the passengers. Requires the NTSB, however, even if it has relinquished such priority, to assist, to the maximum extent possible, the agency to which it has relinquished it in assisting families with respect to the accident.

Directs the NTSB and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to revise their 1977 agreement on the investigation of accidents to take into account the amendments made by this Act, and to submit such revision to specified congressional committees.