Freedom of Information Act – FOIA

Federal FOIA – The Freedom of Information Act (also called FOI or FOIA) was signed into law on July 4, 1966 to give the public access to information held by the federal government.  The following refers to requests for information and/or documents that you want to receive from federal government agencies. 

State FOIA – The individual states have similar Freedom of Information laws, however, the information needs to be requested under state guidelines. It is helpful to refer to the exact Statute when requesting information, however, written requests to the federal or local government can be filed with the following: “The Following information and documents are requested under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Laws.”

FOIA is one of the most important tools for accessing original source documents and has been very helpful to NADA/F members, the press, and the people.

It is a good idea to send all FOIA requests via registered mail so that you have a return receipt‑‑the green card, signed, that the mail was received.  Save all copies of your requests and be prepared to follow-through to file an Appeal to ensure that your request is granted. Sometimes you need to be more specific and re-file, and don’t hesitate to make follow up phone calls.

I would suggest that you look at the following to familiarize yourself with the law and the best way to access important information.

General Information

The Freedom of Information Act applies to all government agencies; however, some are more prompt than others with compliance.  Save all of your records and keep pushing!

We are providing the FAA and NTSB FOIA addresses as these are the primary agencies handling federal air crash investigations and information. Feel free to send your same request to both agencies:

  • Freedom of Information Officer
    National Transportation Safety Board
    490 L’Enfant Plaza SW
    Washington DC 20594
    (202) 314-6000
    (Go to Contact NTSB Offices, and click on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA))
  • Freedom of Information Officer
    Federal Aviation Administration
    800 Independence Ave SW
    Washington DC 20591

You may also send requests to the local FAA offices; locations are listed on their web site.  For more information also use the Search box on their web site, and enter Freedom of Information. Click on Freedom of Information Act from the drop down menu, upper right.