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What is the FAA's responsibility when a plane crashes?

If you are like most New Yorkers, you probably think that the Federal Aviation Administration conducts an investigation every time a plane crashes. Actually, this is not the case.

As the FAA itself explains, the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent U.S. governmental agency, is the one tasked with investigating aviation accidents, disasters and incidents. The FAA has considerably different responsibilities.

Main FFA responsibilities

The FAA does all of the following:

  • Regulates civil aviation so as to advance safety, both within the U.S. and abroad
  • Develops and encourages civil aeronautics, particularly new aviation technology
  • Develops and operates the air navigation and air traffic control systems for both U.S. civil and military aircraft
  • Researches and develops both civil aeronautics and the National Airspace System
  • Develops programs to control the environmental effects of civil aviation such as aircraft noise and carries them out
  • Regulates American commercial space transportation by licensing private launches of space payloads and commercial space launch facilities

FFA activities

In addition to the above responsibilities, the FFA also performs the following activities:

  • Issues and enforces minimum standards and regulations regarding the manufacture, operation and maintenance of aircraft
  • Manages the efficient and safe use of navigable airspace
  • Builds and installs electronic and visual air navigation aids
  • Promotes aviation safety both in the U.S. and abroad
  • Encourages and regulates American commercial space transportation
  • Researches and develops systems and procedures to maintain safe and efficient air navigation and air traffic control systems, including developing better aircraft, engines and equipment, as well as testing and evaluating such systems

Working together, the FFA and the NTSB seek to provide a safe and reliable U.S. air transportation system and investigate crashes when they occur so as to determine their causes and make sir travel even safer.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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