This Day in FAA History: January 9th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19430109: The Lockheed C-69 first flew. After the war, this four-engine, military transport was converted into a successful commercial airliner, the L-049 Constellation. In December 1945, CAA type-certificated the Constellation, which entered commercial passenger service on January 14, 1946, with Pan American. Model L-649, the first version manufactured entirely for civil use, carried 60 passengers and had a range of over 3,000 miles with 8 tons of payload. On November 26, 1968, a Western Air Lines “Connie” completed the type’s last scheduled airline flight in North America.
19470109: Regulations governing the administration of the Federal Airport Act received final approval, and two days later CAA announced the 1947 construction program, listing 800 airports for either construction or improvement. Published in February, the first National Airport Plan under the program contained a three-year forecast of requirements involving 4,431 locations. Twin Falls, Idaho, became the first community to receive a grant when, on May 7, the CAA Administrator signed papers for the construction of a class 3 airport at a cost of about $647,000, of which $384,000 was in Federal funds. (See May 13, 1946, June 30, 1954, and Appendix VII.)
19580109: The Secretaries of Commerce and Defense concluded a joint-use agreement to: avoid duplicating facilities, equipment, and overlapping functions; increase the capability of each function; and create an air traffic control system functionally compatible with the nation’s defense facilities in peace and war. They agreed that each department would “make its respective surveillance, data processing, situation display, communications, identification processes and facilities mutually and fully available for the early attainment of the objective above.” They also agreed that the Airways Modernization Board would develop criteria for the practical application of this national policy. (See November 16, 1956, and September 2, 1958.)
19600109: FAA announced a rule requiring airborne weather radar on most U.S. airliners in passenger service. Deadlines for installation were: (a) July 1, 1960 for turbojet and turboprop airliners; (b) January 1, 1961, for the Douglas DC-6 and DC-7 series and the Lockheed Constellation 1049 and 1649 series; and (c) January 1, 1962, for all other affected aircraft. The rule exempted the Curtiss C-46, Douglas DC-3, and Lockheed L-18, as well as aircraft operated only within Alaska or Hawaii. An FAA rule issued on April 8, 1966, extended the requirement to large transport aircraft used for cargo only. Turbojets were required to comply by the end of 1966, and all others by the end of 1967. This rule also exempted certain older aircraft as well as operations solely in Alaska or Hawaii.
19610109: The Federal Aviation Agency released a report on the commercial supersonic transport (SST), prepared by FAA with the assistance of DOD and NASA. The report concluded that a Mach 3 (2,000 m.p.h.) transport could and should be built by U.S. industry, with governmental financial support limited to demonstrated needs. Although he had been unable to persuade the outgoing Eisenhower Administration to request funds for SST development, Administrator Quesada recommended prompt and careful consideration of the immediate establishment of such a program. (See June 30, 1960, and July 24, 1961.)
19610109: Pursuant to Executive Order 10902, signed on this date, the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization Preparedness issued its Order No. 3 charging the FAA Administrator with preparation for emergency management of the nation’s civil airports and civil aviation operating facilities. On February 16, 1962, Executive Order 11003 continued and extended this responsibility by directing the Administrator to prepare national emergency plans and preparedness programs for the nation’s civil airports, civil aviation operating facilities and services, and civil aircraft other than air carriers.
19640109: The Federal Aviation Agency stated that its recent tests indicated that crash locator beacons could effectively aid in the location of downed aircraft. (See February 26, 1968.)
19760109: As of this date, FAA implemented a conflict alert system, capable of warning air traffic controllers of less-than-standard separation between aircraft under their control, at all 20 air route traffic control centers in the contiguous U.S. FAA added the new conflict alert capability to the radar data processing system of the NAS En Route Stage A center computers (see August 26, 1975). The new system projected the flight paths of all aircraft on the controllers’ radar sector for two minutes ahead, and flashed the relevant aircraft data tags if the projection showed the paths approaching closer than the required horizontal and vertical minimums. The controller could then radio appropriate orders to the aircraft to avoid a collision. The conflict alert system initially operated only above 18,000 feet, but by December 1978 all 20 centers had implemented it from the ground up. FAA later installed a similar capability in the Automated Radar Terminal System (ARTS) computers (see January 10, 1978).
19860109: FAA published a rule requiring passenger-carrying airliners to carry a medical kit in addition to the basic first aid kits already mandated. The agency estimated that roughly 21 in-flight deaths occurred annually, most involving persons already suffering from terminal illnesses. FAA expected that about 10 percent of the in-flight deaths would be prevented by the new rule, which became effective August 1, 1986.
19950109: DOT and FAA opened a two-day “summit” Aviation Safety Conference on ways to improve safety measures and increase public confidence in airline transportation. More than 950 government and industry representatives attended the event, at which Transportation Secretary Federico Peña and FAA Administrator David Hinson urged cooperation to achieve a goal of zero accidents. Participants formed workshops and produced recommendations on six key areas: crew training; air traffic control and weather issues; safety data collection and use; applications of emerging technologies; aircraft maintenance procedures and inspections; and flight operating procedures. In response, FAA on February 9 published an Aviation Safety Action Plan that identified 173 safety initiatives. In publishing the plan, the agency noted that many airlines were voluntarily establishing safety offices reporting to their chief executives. The agency stated its intention to require airlines with aircraft seating more than nine passengers have independent safety offices. Among the action plan’s many features were emphasis on Advanced Qualification Program (AQP) training (see September 26, 1990) and on increased sharing of safety data. At the same time that it released the plan, FAA announced that it had reached agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association and Air Transport Association on a Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) program. The FOQA would permit the use of information from Flight Data Recorders to analyze safety trends rather than merely to investigate accidents and incidents. FAA would have access to the data, with pilot identities deleted. (See December 6, 1995.)
19970109: A Comair Embraer 120 stalled in snowy weather and crashed 18 miles short of Detroit [Michigan] Metropolitan Airport, killing all 29 aboard. (See May 12, 1997; August 27, 1998.)
20230109: FAA and the Korea Office of Civil Aviation agreed to partner on future Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft development and operations. The agencies signed a Declaration of Cooperation under which they will collaborate on AAM projects and share ideas, information, skills, and techniques. The two agencies plan to work together to promote the safety oversight of AAM, including airworthiness, licensing, and operations. The announcement followed FAA’s partnerships with Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand in the National Aviation Authorities Network to harmonize certification criteria and integration plans. (See October 18, 2022; May 4, 2023.)