Civil Aeronautics Act
The Civil Aeronautics Act (CAA) was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938 and became a major step by the federal government toward regulating and improving airline safety.
The legislation established a new independent department called the Civil Aeronautics Authority, which was charged with overseeing and encouraging air transportation and commerce via its new powers to regulate airfares and approve new airline routes.
However, an even more significant initiative in the bill was the formation of the Air Safety Board. This three-member committee would be responsible for conducting accident investigations and using their findings to determine ways to prevent future accidents.
Many of the duties of the Civil Aeronautics Authority were taken over by the Federal Aviation Administration upon its creation in 1958 and the investigation of airplane accidents eventually became the responsibility of the National Transportation Safety Board, which was formed in 1967.