Civil Aeronautics Board

Seal and flag of the defunct Civil Aeronautics Board on display in the National Air and Space Museum

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) was an agency of the federal government of the United States that regulated aviation services, including scheduled passenger airline service, and provided air accident investigation. The agency headquarters were in Washington, D.C.


The Civil Aeronautics Authority Act of 1938 formed the Civil Aeronautics Authority. The agency was renamed in 1940,[1] due to a merger with the Air Safety Board.[2] It became an independent agency under Reorganization Plans Nos. III and IV of 1940, effective on June 30, 1940. The Air Safety Board had formed in 1938. Other predecessor agencies include the Aeronautics Branch (1926–1934), the Bureau of Air Commerce (1934-1938), and the Bureau of Air Mail, Interstate Commerce Commission (1934–38).[3]

The first air accident investigation was the one of the Lovettsville air disaster in 1940.

Some duties were transferred to the Federal Aviation Administration in 1958.[1]

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was established in 1967, taking over air accident investigation duties.[1]

The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 specified that the CAB would eventually be disestablished. The agency was disestablished on January 1, 1985.[4] The remaining tasks were transferred to the Secretary of Transportation except for a few going to the U.S. Postal Service.[1]


The Universal South Building at 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW. once housed the CAB headquarters

The agency had its headquarters in the Universal Building in Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.[5][6] The agency had moved there by May 1959.[7] Previously it had been headquartered in the Commerce Building (a.k.a. the Herbert C. Hoover Building),[8] and its offices were in several buildings.[7] After moving into the Universal Building, CAB leased space there. By 1968 the agency had acquired an additional approximately 2,000 square feet (190 m2) of space in the same building, resulting in additional rent expenses.[9]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 The United States Government Manual 2009-2010. Government Printing Office, October 30, 2009. ISBN 0160839491, 9780160839498. p. 581.
  2. Kaps, Robert W. Air Transport Labor Relations (Southern Illinois University Press series in aviation management, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale). SIU Press, 1997. ISBN 0809317761, 9780809317769. p. 197.
  3. "Records of the Civil Aeronautics Board." United States National Archives. Retrieved on September 16, 2014.
  4. Kane, Robert M. Air Transportation. Kendall Hunt, 2003. ISBN 0787288810, 9780787288815. p. 121 (A part of the "Civil Aeronautics Board" section).
  5. "Sorbitol from France: determination of the Commission in investigation no. 731-TA-44 (final) under the Tariff Act of 1930, together with the information obtained in the investigation" (Volume 1233 of USITC publication). United States International Trade Commission, 1982. p. A-42. "Civil Aeronautics Board, 1825 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C."
  6. The Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1964. p. 370. "[...]office hours at the Board's Docket Section. Room 711, Universal Building, 1825 Connecticut Avenue NW., Washington, D.C."
  7. 1 2 "Briefings..." Flying Magazine. May 1959. Vol. 64, No. 5. ISSN 0015-4806. p. 98. "UNDER ONE ROOF at last, the Civil Aeronautics Board is now quartered in the Universal Building, 1825 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Washington"
  8. National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Latin American Anthropology, Alexander Lesser. Survey of Research on Latin America by United States Scientists and Institutions. National Academies, 1946. p. 70. "Material available for the most part at the Civil Aeronautics Board, Commerce Building, Washington, D.C."
  9. Civil aeronautics board (Volume 38 of Independent Offices and Department of Housing and Urban Development Appropriations for 1969: Hearings, Ninetieth Congress, Second Session, United States. Congress. House. Committee on Appropriations. Subcommittee on Independent Offices and Dept. of Housing and Urban Development). U.S. Government Printing Office, 1968. p. 475. (See search page) "Mr. Evins. Other objects are shown on page 94. Rent is shown to increase by $28,000. You go from $194,400 to $223,200. Why do you need this increase? Mr. Murphy. We are acquiring about 2,000 more square feet of office space in the Universal Building, where we are presently housed. I think that accounts, perhaps, for the increase in our rent. Is that correct, Mr. Kiefer?"
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