NTSB’s ‘Most Wanted’ List Of Safety Issues To Be Retired


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced today it will discontinue its “Most Wanted” list of transportation safety improvements at year-end. Begun in 1990, the list has highlighted safety issues the board viewed as priorities for attention from related government agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as industry stakeholders.

Aviation-specific items on the most recent list include requiring and verifying the effectiveness of Safety Management Systems in all revenue-passenger-carrying operations, installing crash-resistant recorders, and establishing flight-data monitoring programs.

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said, “The Most Wanted List has served the NTSB well as an advocacy tool, especially in the days before social media, but our advocacy efforts must advance. Freed from the structure of a formal list, the NTSB can more nimbly advocate for our recommendations and emerging safety issues.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.


  1. I believe the NTSB section of the FAA Reauthorization Act (currently languishing in Congress) directed that the list be abolished. Not sure why, but it wasn’t NTSB’s idea to dump it. Maybe some of the long-term occupants of the list were unhappy.

  2. Why would you not identify and publish the most wanted safety improvements………

    When government agencies do dumb things the first question to ask is who will benefit from the change?

    A list helps to keep issues in plain view , eliminating the list will avoid embarrassment when accidents occur

  3. I believe the flaw is all about who spins the list. Once published the list cannot defend itself from those that would use it to advance an agenda. Despite the good intentions of the list it can be used or misused in many ways.