Summary: S.2768 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (05/13/2010)

National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act of 2010 - (Sec. 2) Reauthorizes appropriations to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for FY2011 and FY2012.

(Sec. 3) Revises the term "accident" to expand the NTSB's authority to investigate, at its discretion, accidents not involving the destruction or damage of a vehicle, aircraft, or pipeline, but significantly affecting transportation safety.

Authorizes the NTSB by subpoena to summon witnesses and obtain any and all evidence relevant to an accident investigation.

Prohibits the NTSB (including any agency that has received information from the NTSB) from disclosing publicly any commercial or financial or certain classified information during ongoing NTSB accident investigations. Authorizes public disclosure of such information when necessary, in certain circumstances, to promote transportation safety.

(Sec. 4) Authorizes accident investigation training of NTSB employees in theory and techniques and on transportation safety methods in order to advance NTSB safety recommendations.

Revises the authority of the NTSB to investigate transportation accidents to include: (1) freight or passenger railroad accidents involving a fatality (other than a fatality involving a trespasser), substantial property damage, or significant injury to the environment; (2) accidents or incidents in response to an international request and delegation under appropriate conventions, coordinated through the Department of State and accepted by the NTSB; (3) accidents or incidents significantly affecting transportation safety; and (4) accidents involving a commercial space launch vehicle.

Authorizes the NTSB, with the consent of the appropriate Secretary, to delegate its authority to investigate: (1) aviation accidents or incidents to the Department of Transportation; and (2) maritime accidents or incidents to the Coast Guard.

Authorizes the NTSB, as well as any NTSB officer or employee, to download or seize any recording device and recordings and require specific information only available from the manufacturer to enable the NTSB to read and interpret any flight parameter or navigation storage device or media on board an accident aircraft.

(Sec. 5) Revises requirements for domestic and foreign air carrier plans for addressing the needs of families of passengers involved in aircraft accidents that incur major loss of life. Requires domestic and foreign air carriers to make a reasonable attempt to notify the family of a passenger at least 60 days prior to the planned destruction of any unclaimed property of the passenger.

(Sec. 6) Directs the NTSB to report to specified congressional committees on policies, procedures, and guidelines it has used to expedite the release of factual accident-related information to accident victims and their families, federal, state, and local accident investigators and agencies, private or third party investigation partners, the public, and other specified stakeholders.