Nov. 5, 2002

NTSB Academy Names Dean, Construction of New Facility at GW’s Virginia Campus Continues

TWA Flight 800's Fuselage To Be Housed at Facility

As bricks and steel beams form the new National Transportation Safety Board’s Academy at GW’s Virginia Campus, the academic infrastructure will be built by Frank Richey, who was appointed president and academic dean.

After 20 years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Richey now will be responsible for academic administration, curriculum planning, course development, communications, strategic planning, and financial operations.

“I’m honored to be selected to lead the new NTSB Academy,” Richey says. “I look forward to this challenging position because its gives the NTSB an opportunity to make the world’s best accident investigators even better by boosting their training and skills. Since we will soon be a major asset to The George Washington University’s Virginia Campus, we envision developing a stronger partnership with the University. As the academy develops and expands, our goal is make it a center for excellence to improve transportation safety worldwide.”

Scheduled to open in summer 2003, the academy’s mission is to provide comprehensive education and training to those who improve safety by conducting independent transportation accident investigations. Another dimension of the academy will be family assistance courses, helping NTSB employees counsel victim’s relatives after tragedies.

GW and the NTSB signed a 20-year lease in July 2001 to use the facility on previously-owned University property. The state-of-the-art, 72,000-square-foot, two-level facility will contain five classrooms, an outside simulations court, meeting rooms, and student and teacher work areas. The building also will house a large laboratory for the three-dimensional, 93-foot reconstruction of the forward portion of TWA Flight 800 aircraft’s fuselage. Reconstructing the Boeing 747’s fuselage, which weighs 60,000 pounds, is the largest aircraft reconstruction in civil aviation history.

“I am pleased with the partnership between the NTSB and GW, and we look forward to the opening of the academy on our campus next July,” says John Wilson, executive dean of the Virginia Campus. “There is little question that the academy will add strength and dimension to our growing expertise in transportation safety and security. Accordingly, Dr. Richey and I have the wonderful task of working together on a common agenda that is vital to our county, our nation, and our world.”


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