The National Transportation Safety Board employees returned to work on Monday. The NTSB staff resumed normal operations and began developing plans to address the work that could not be accomplished during the partial government shutdown.

Of the 397 agency staff, 367 employees were furloughed, 26 employees were excepted, and six investigators were recalled and worked without pay to support investigations of three international aviation accidents.

As of Jan. 25, impacts of the partial shutdown on the NTSB include:

  • Ninety-seven accidents that the NTSB was unable to investigate due to employees being furloughed to include the following that now require investigative action:
    15 aviation accidents resulting in 21 fatalities
    Two marine accidents
    Two railroad accidents resulting in two fatalities
    Two highway accidents resulting in 7 fatalities, 15 injuries
  • Six accidents in which the NTSB did not gather evidence to determine if an investigation was warranted.
  • During the partial shutdown work stopped on 44 ongoing marine investigations.
  • Postponement of the launch of the NTSB’s 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety
  • Improvements, which has been rescheduled to Feb. 4.
  • Cancellation of 22 external meetings or presentations
  • More than 180 media inquiries went unanswered
  • The accidents in which the NTSB did not launch investigators, but would have if not for the partial shutdown, may not result in investigators physically visiting the accident sites, and, it is possible that perishable evidence may have been lost, which potentially could prevent determination of probable cause.

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.