This Day in FAA History: January 4th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19590104: A published report described the successful use of Doppler navigation techniques in aerial explorations for oil in remote areas.
19650104: Under a rule effective this date, FAA required approved survivor lights on all life preservers and liferafts carried by U.S. air carriers and other large commercial aircraft flying more than 50 miles from shore, to assist in the rescue of passengers in the event of a night ditching. (See January 28, 1966.)
19830104: Effective this date, FAA increased the minimum qualifications for air traffic controllers who provide on-the-job training (OJT). As before, FAA required such controllers to be certificated on the position for which they served as an OJT instructor. In addition, they were now required to have operated in the position for a minimum of 30 solo hours after certification, and to have received certification as an OJT instructor based on a supervisor’s observation of actual performance at the position.
19910104: In the first of a series of telecommunications failures which created air traffic control problems during this year, the AT&T company’s maintenance workers accidentally cut a fiber-optic telephone cable in New Jersey, disrupting communications between air traffic control sites and delaying air travel for several hours in the New York area. Other significant delays occurred: on May 4, when a farmer cut a fiber cable, limiting operations at four air route traffic control centers; on September 17, when an AT&T equipment failure in New York City cut controller communications and disrupted airline travel in the Northeast; and on November 5, when AT&T maintenance errors disrupted New England long distance telephone service, delaying flight operations at Boston Logan airport. (See May 8, 1988.)
20000104: A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued this day revealed FAA had failed to conduct security checks on dozens of foreign nationals hired to fix Y2K problems in sensitive computer systems used for air traffic control. GAO said FAA had violated its own security policy by allowing foreign employees, who had not received background checks and were working for the agency’s contractors, to be involved in repairing 15 of 153 critical computer systems. The House Science Committee had asked GAO to investigate how much FAA relied on foreign nationals for Y2K preparedness. FAA announced it was taking immediate steps to implement all of the GAO recommendations.
20140104: FAA’s new pilot rules (FAR 117) went into effect. Under the new rules, non-cargo pilots had to have at least 10 hours of rest between shifts, of which 8 hours had to involve uninterrupted sleep. In addition, pilots were only allowed to fly for 8 or 9 hours depending on their start times. (See December 21, 2011.)