49 CFR 801.2 - Policy.
(a) In implementing 5 U.S.C. 552, it is the policy of the NTSB to make information available to the public to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the mission of the NTSB. Information the NTSB routinely provides to the public as part of a regular NTSB activity (such as press releases and information disclosed on the NTSB's public Web site) may be provided to the public without compliance with this part. In addition, as a matter of policy, the NTSB may make discretionary disclosures of records or information otherwise exempt from disclosure under the FOIA whenever disclosure would not foreseeably harm an interest protected by a FOIA exemption; however, this policy does not create any right enforceable in court.
(b) Given the NTSB's stated policy of providing as much information as possible regarding general NTSB operations and releasing documents involving investigations, the NTSB strongly encourages requesters seeking information to check the NTSB's Web site for such information before submitting a FOIA request. For every investigation in which the NTSB has determined the probable cause of an accident, the NTSB's docket management system will include a “public docket” containing documentation that the investigator-in-charge deemed pertinent to the investigation. Requesters may obtain these public dockets without submitting a FOIA request. The NTSB encourages all requesters to review the public docket materials before submitting a FOIA request.