This Day in FAA History: January 7th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19520107: CAA inaugurated radar departure control procedures at the Washington air route traffic control center. Use of radar for approach began July 1, 1952.
19590107: The Federal Aviation Agency began an extensive air traffic survey covering all segments of U.S. aviation–air carrier, military, and general aviation. Goals of the survey were to develop estimates of air activity through 1980 and to formulate a scientific method of forecasting air activity. FAA’s sampling of a period having the lowest level of air activity was followed in July and August by a second survey providing data on the summer peak.
19690107: FAA imposed additional airworthiness standards for small airplanes used in air taxi operations under Special Federal Aviation Regulation 23, effective this date. The standards applied to piston-powered and turboprop airplanes weighing 12,500 pounds or less and capable of carrying more than 10 occupants, including the flightcrew. (See September 7, 1964, and December 1, 1978.)
19800107: John F. Leyden resigned as president of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Association (PATCO) after a bitter struggle for control of the organization with Robert E. Poli, a regional vice president. Both Poli and Leyden had submitted their resignations to the PATCO board, but the board accepted only Leyden’s resignation. Leyden resigned effective February 1, and Poli became interim president on that day. Poli subsequently was elected to a three-year term on April 24. (See May 4, 1979, and April 15, 1980.)
19800107: Effective this date, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established a new schedule for reducing air pollution from older transport aircraft using the JT3D jet engine (mostly DC-8s and Boeing 707s). The standards were to be applied according to a timetable that would involve the replacement of one-fourth of these engines by January 1, 1981; one-half by January 1, 1983; and all by January 1, 1985. This postponed earlier requirements (see July 6, 1973), but was designed to be more compatible with a similar timetable for noise standards (see December 23, 1976), thereby saving airlines the cost of two successive engine retrofittings on the same aircraft. Unlike the noise rule, the emissions standards applied to foreign-owned aircraft serving U.S. airports. On January 20, 1983, however, EPA published a rule eliminating the requirement that the remaining in-use JT3D engines be retrofitted to meet the standards. (See December 23, 1983.)
19800107: Pan American World Airways signed a merger agreement with National Airlines, which formally ceased to exist on October 26. (The defunct carrier’s name was revived on May 15, 1994, when Private Jet Expeditions began using the designation National Airlines.) The merger with National gave Pan American a long-sought domestic system to feed its international routes.
19860107: The first helicopter flight simulator certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration was commissioned at the Bell Helicopter plant in Hurst, Texas, for use in Bell 222 helicopter training and proficiency checks.
19930107: DOT announced its approval of a $450 million investment in Continental Airlines by Air Canada and Air Partners of Dallas, Tex. On April 28, Continental emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy (see December 3, 1990).
19970107: Dredging resumed in the search for clues in the TWA Flight 800 crash. The operation had been suspended in mid-December 1996. (See July 17, 1996; May 4, 1997.)
19990107: FAA announced the selection of Vint Hill Farms Station, a former military intelligence base in Fauquier County, Virginia, as the site for a $93 million consolidated air-traffic control facility. FAA officials said the move would put controllers handling planes approaching, Dulles International, Reagan National, and Baltimore-Washington International airports, and Andrews Air Force Base under one roof to improve air safety and streamline costs. (See October 28, 1998; March 6, 2000.)
20030107: FAA announced a tentative agreement in principle to extend the existing contract with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, signed in 1998, for two years to September 2005. (See June 15, 1998; December 9, 2003.)
20090107: FAA certified Embraer’s largest executive jet, the Lineage 1000. The aircraft won type certification in December 2008 from Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency as well as the European Aviation Safety Agency.
20130107: A Japan Airline 787 Dreamliner that had flown into Boston’s Logan airport from Tokyo caught fire while parked at the gate due to a malfunctioning battery. All passengers and crew from the plane had already departed the aircraft when the fire started. (See December 4, 2012; January 11, 2013.)
20150107: FAA issued a final rule requiring most U.S. commercial airlines to have safety management systems (SMS) in place by 2018. The rule built on the programs many airlines already used to identify and reduce aviation risk. Airlines had to submit their implementation plans to FAA within six months. The rule also required a single accountable executive to oversee SMS. A SMS defined what was expected rather than how the requirement had to be met. This allowed each air carrier to design an SMS to match the size, complexity, and business model of its organization. (See January 30, 2012.)
20180107: Michael Huerta’s 5-year term as FAA Administrator ended. Deputy Administrator Daniel Elwell became the agency’s acting administrator. (See March 27, 2012.)
20200107: Chinese drone maker Ehang demonstrated its autonomous air taxi in the United States for the first time after FAA granted permission for the flight. The all-electric two-seat plane took a five minute flight above a test track south of Raleigh, North Carolina. The Ehang 216, powered by 16 electric rotors, flew along a pre-planned route at over 80 mph. The aircraft weighed about 600 pounds and could carry another 500 to 600 pounds of cargo or passengers. (See June 6, 2019; May 28, 2020.)
20200107: The Alaska Volcano Observatory announced Shishaldin Volcano had erupted at 5 a.m. The volcano is located 679 miles southwest of Anchorage near the center of Unimak Island, the largest island in the Aleutians. It sent up an initial ash cloud to 19,000 feet, it then seismicity diminished for a few hours, but increased again. During the increase, the volcano spewed an ash cloud to 25,000 feet, with an increased volume of ash. The ash plume extended approximately 90 miles. The observatory immediately issued a “Code Red” warning for air traffic around the Shishaldin area and FAA issued a warning to aircraft in the area.