This Day in FAA History: January 15th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19280115: The Aeronautics Branch published a list of newly licensed pilots that included James Herman Banning as holder of a limited commercial license. Banning was the first known African American to receive a Federal pilot license. The first Federal transport pilot license issued to an African American is believed to have been received by C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson in 1932.
Black aviators had been active in the United States as early as the years preceding World War I, an era when nearly all pilots were unlicensed. The first African American to receive a pilot certificate of any type was probably Eugene Bullard, who was licensed by the French air corps in 1917 and served as a combat pilot. In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first African American to receive a pilot’s certificate from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, an international organization based in Paris.
19400115: The first issue of the official Civil Aeronautics Journal appeared, superseding Air Commerce Bulletin (see July 1, 1929). The publication was retitled CAA Journal on August 15, 1944. (See July 20, 1952.)
19440115: CAA commissioned the Honolulu air route traffic control center on this date, followed by the Miami center on August 16.
19460115: CAA announced streamlined inspection procedures intended to prevent bottlenecks in the extensive civilian aircraft production underway. The new procedures provided for appointment from the industry of designated manufacturing inspection representatives and designated aircraft maintenance inspectors. CAA’s increasing use of designees included other regulatory areas. By June 30, 1948, 9,965 representatives of the Office of Aviation Safety were in the designee program, including 2,050 commercial aviation medical examiners, 6,222 airman rating examiners, and 1,693 aircraft service representatives. (See February 9, 1940, and November 25, 1947.)
19590115: Agency Order 1 prescribed FAA’s basic organizational structure. The Administrator and his Deputy were assisted by three staff offices headed by Assistant Administrators: Management Services; Personnel and Training; and Plans and Requirements (the name of which was shortened to Plans on July 10, 1960). Other staff officials reporting to the Administrator included the General Counsel, the Civil Air Surgeon, and the heads of the Offices of Public Affairs, Congressional Liason, and International Coordination. The agency’s major programs were entrusted to four Bureaus whose Directors reported to the Administrator: Research and Development (testing and development of new equipment); Flight Standards (certification of airmen, aircraft, and air carriers); Air Traffic Management (planning and operation of the airspace system); and Facilities (acquisition and maintenance of air navigation facilities and related equipment). FAA’s initial field structure retained the Civil Aeronautics Administration’s system of six numbered regions headed by Regional Administrators reporting to the agency chief. Three large field facilities were exempt from regional control: the National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center (NAFEC), the Aeronautical Center, and Washington National Airport.
19640115: Six companies submitted supersonic transport (SST) design proposals to FAA in response to the agency’s August 1963 request for such proposals. The companies included three airframe manufacturers (Boeing, Lockheed, and North American Aviation) and three engine manufacturers (General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, and Curtiss-Wright). (See November 19, 1963, and April 1, 1964.)
19650115: AN FAA-sponsored study by the Coordinating Research Council of New York, reported all aviation fuels equally safe, and that no basis existed for the contention that kerosene offered more overall safety than JP-4 aviation fuel (a mixture of gasoline and kerosene). Despite this finding, TWA announced on January 21, 1965, that it was suspending use of JP-4. Earlier, on January 7, 1965, Pan American World Airways had announced that it would make kerosene its standard jet fuel because of public mistrust of JP-4. The Airways Club, a New York organization of frequent air travelers, had long urged banning JP-4 as a commercial jet fuel because of its alleged high volatility.
19660115: Effective this date, a rule intended to prevent runway overruns required turbojet transport aircraft landing on wet or slippery runways to have available 15 percent more runway length than considered adequate in dry weather. If the increased runway length was not available at an arrival airport and weather reports indicated slippery or wet runways during a transport’s anticipated arrival time, the aircraft was required to compensate for the shorter runway length by carrying less payload or fuel. (See August 4, 1965.)
19680115: AN FAA technical team began a review of modifications made by Boeing to its supersonic transport (SST) prototype design (variable-sweep-wing model 2707-200). The team found that these changes, by increasing the aircraft’s weight, had resulted in a poor weight-payload ratio. This overweight factor limited range and payload to such an extent that the prototype’s calculated performance fell well below the specifications for the Phase III contract. (With a full payload, the 2707-200 had a range of only 2,775 statute miles.) An amendment to the Phase III contract, dated March 29, 1968, required Boeing to submit to FAA by January 15, 1969, a fully substantiated design capable of meeting the Phase III contract criteria for the prototype airplane. (See June 5, 1967, and October 21, 1968.)
19690115: The U.S. Civil Service Commission (CSC) ruled that the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) was an employee organization, not a professional society, because it had sought and obtained a dues-withholding agreement. FAA had agreed to permit a voluntary payroll deduction plan for the payment of PATCO dues with the understanding that PATCO would remain a professional society. As a result of the CSC ruling, PATCO became subject to the Standards of Conduct and the Code of Fair Labor Practices. At the same time, however, PATCO became eligible for formal recognition as a labor bargaining organization under Executive Order 10988. (See July 19, 1968, and June 11, 1969.)
19690115: FAA adopted a method of regulating the flow of traffic into the Metropolitan New York area. The new procedures went into effect each time the delay forecast for IFR aircraft flying into New York exceeded one hour. When this happened, the flow of air traffic into New York was limited by keeping New York-bound aircraft on the ground at their points of departure. Though the new procedures did little or nothing to reduce the length of delays incurred by New York-bound aircraft, they did reduce the length of time spent in airborne holding patterns to an hour or less. This, in turn, reduced congestion on the airways leading to New York and facilitated the flow of non-New York traffic using or crossing these routes. (See July 19, 1968, and June 25, 1970.)
19690115: The Boeing Company submitted to FAA for evaluation a new supersonic transport (SST) configuration, a delta-wing design with a horizontal tail. A 100-person review team drawn from FAA, NASA, and the Defense Department found that Boeing had adequately integrated the new design.
In February, President Nixon appointed an interdepartmental committee headed by Under Secretary of Transportation James M. Beggs to review the SST program. The committee’s report, submitted in early April, contained mixed views on the program’s future. Secretary of Transportation Volpe, however, continued to advise in favor of the program.
On September 23, 1969, Nixon announced that the SST development program would be continued because the project was essential to maintaining U.S. leadership in world air transport. The President requested Congress to appropriate $96 million during fiscal year 1970 ($662 million over a five-year period, fiscal 1970 through fiscal 1974) to pursue the program. (See October 21, 1968, and April 6, 1970.)
19700115: President Nixon announced an agreement to seek a site for the development of a Miami (Fla.) jetport outside of a proposed land area in the ecotone between Big Cyprus Swamp and Everglades National Park. The agreement was signed by the Dade County Port Authority, the State of Florida, and the Secretaries of Transportation and Interior.
Dade County had acquired 39 square miles in the area for a future jetport to relieve the anticipated saturation of Miami International. Lying 40 miles west of Miami and surrounded by natural buffer zones, the proposed new jetport would pose neither a noise nuisance nor an air pollution threat to residents. Conservationists, however, argued that a major airport on the tract would upset the delicate ecology of the Everglades. After environmental studies, Dade County officials agreed with state and Federal authorities to seek another site.
The agreement also provided that a one-runway training airport already constructed on the tract would be operated under strict environmental safeguards until a new training facility could be established at the still-to-be-determined jetport site. Construction of the training field had begun in September 1968. During fiscal 1969, FAA had awarded a $500,000 grant to assist the project, which was intended to divert training flights from Miami International and provide the nucleus for an eventual air carrier facility.
In announcing the agreement, President Nixon directed the Secretary of Transportation to consider introducing legislation to ensure that the national interest would be adequately represented in regional airport development. “We have learned,” the President stated, “that the development of major facilities, such as a regional airport, may have widespread environmental and social consequences that cannot wisely be left entirely to local initiative and local decision.”
19710115: The Federal Aviation Administration transferred jurisdiction over its field offices and facilities in Kentucky from the Eastern Region Area Office at Cleveland to the Southern Region headquarters at Atlanta.
19890115: The Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (SMGCS), a red-and-green traffic light system for runways and taxiways, began a one-year test at New York Kennedy airport. The red lights, called “stop bars,” warned pilots not to enter runways until controllers issued clearance and switched on green lights leading to the runway center line. An improved version received further testing at Kennedy during 1991, and on December 10, 1992, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport became a demonstration airport for the first FAA-approved stop bar system. Seattle’s system, developed by the Port of Seattle’s airport management team, FAA, and airport users, served as the prototype for development of national standards for low visibility operations under FAA’s Runway Incursion Plan. (See February 7, 1991.) On June 1, 1993, Hartsfield-Atlanta International Airport became the second airport in the Untied States to begin using the SMGCS plan.
19970115: FAA issued a fact sheet announcing plans for a two-year evaluation, beginning in 1999, of new air traffic management concepts and technologies for application in Alaska and Hawaii. The goal of this Ha-laska free flight demonstration project was to show that existing technologies could support the “free flight” concept. (See April 16, 1998.)
19970115: As part of the continuing review stemming from the accidents near Colorado Springs (1991) and Pittsburgh (1994), Vice President Al Gore announced FAA would require operators to retrofit existing Boeing 737 rudder control systems with four newly developed components. (See January 2, 1997; March 14, 1997.)
19970115: FAA praised the Department of Defense for making its global digital terrain elevation database available for civil aviation use, stating that this action would help prevent a danger known as controlled flight into terrain.
20020115: Effective this date, FAA mandated new standards to protect cockpits from intruders and the effects of small arms fire or fragmentation devices, such as grenades. The Aviation and Transportation Security Act authorized the FAA to issue the final rule, which required operators of more than 6,000 airplanes to install reinforced doors by April 9, 2003. The agency also issued a special federal aviation regulation (SFAR) requiring operators to install temporary internal locking devices within 45 days on all passenger airplanes and on airplanes equipped with cargo cockpit doors. October 17, FAA issued a series of SFARs that authorized short-term door reinforcement by providing airlines and cargo operators with temporary relief from certain FAA standards. The major U.S. airlines voluntarily installed short-term fixes to the cockpit doors of 4,000 aircraft in 32 days. The SFAR stated that a long-term fix that meets FAA requirements must be installed within 18 months. (See January 5, 2002; January 18, 2002.)
20090115: United Airlines Flight 1549 struck a flock of birds after departing New York LaGuardia Airport en route to Charlotte, NC. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger successfully ditched the aircraft into the Hudson River. All onboard survived.
20090115: FAA awarded Thales ATM a contract to install and test a low-cost ($500,000 or less) ground surveillance system that the agency planned for small- and medium-size airports. Kansas-based Thales ATM was among several companies that submitted proposals in response to FAA’s August 2007 Call to Action to reduce risk of runway incursions. The low-cost system was radar-based and would provide surface movement information to controllers, who in turn would advise flight crews of potential collisions. (See January 24, 2008; July 1, 2009.)
20180115: A number of airlines, American, Alaska, Hawaiian, Delta, United, and Southwest, prohibited passengers to fly with smart bags that contained nonremovable lithium batteries. The policy change applied to checked- and carry-on bags that used lithium batteries to power high-tech features such as a USB charging station and a location tracker. Other airlines followed suit.