This Day in FAA History: January 16th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19300116: Frank Whittle, a British Royal Air Force officer and engineer, received a patent for his design of a turbojet aircraft engine. Manufacture of an experimental version of the engine began in 1936. On May 15, 1941, the Gloster E28/39, a British turbojet powered by a Whittle W/X jet engine, made its first official flight, at Cranwell, England. However, this first Allied jet flight came nearly two years after Germany had accomplished the feat. On August 27, 1939, the first air-breathing jet flight of an aircraft had occurred, accomplished by a German Heinkel He 178 aircraft with a jet engine by designed by Hans von Ohain.
19480116: The Airport Operators Council was established as an association of operators of U.S. commercial airports. In 1967, the association added the word “International” to its name to reflect a broadened membership. Later, in 1991, the Airport Operators Council International merged with the International Civil Airports Association to form a federation with headquarters in Geneva and six regional affiliates. The new organization adopted the name Airports Association Council International, later becoming simply the Airports Council International (ACI). One of ACI’s six affiliates was a Washington-based organization representing members in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda. This regional organization adopted the name Airports Council International–North America on January 1, 1993.
19580116: In a report to Congress, President Eisenhower endorsed the recommendation of his special assistant for aviation, E. R. Quesada, that Washington’s second public airport be built at Chantilly, Va. Land acquisition began January 27, 1958. (See August 1957 and July 11, 1958.)
19610116: FAA introduced a new Automatic Data Interchange System (ADIS), a multi-point highspeed teletypewriter network capable of transmitting weather data at 850 words per minute. The new network connected interchange centers located at Cleveland, Atlanta, Fort Worth, Kansas City, and San Francisco that served five national “weather areas.” The new high-speed circuit would be used for Service A, the most complex of FAA’s three weather communications networks. (See July 6, 1957, and June 1979.)
19630116: The Federal Aviation Agency’s Supersonic Transport Advisory Group recommended U.S. development of a commercial supersonic transport (SST) as a top-priority Federal-industry program in a report made public this date. In acknowledging the report, Administrator Halaby said that it made a “powerful” case for proceeding with SST development, but he asked for additional conclusions and recommendations in the following areas: cost of development and testing up to the preproduction stage for each airplane; unit cost which should be charged to the air carriers by manufacturers after the production stage was reached, “assuming production of some 200 aircraft”; direct operating costs; and management organization for development of an SST. The group submitted this supplementary report in May 1963 before dissolving in July. At the end May 1963, a Cabinet-level committee headed by Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson submitted recommendations to President Kennedy that were favorable to the program. (See December 11, 1961, and June 5, 1963.)
19670116: Alan S. Boyd became the first Secretary of the Department of Transportation (see October 15, 1966, and April 1, 1967). President Johnson had announced his intention to nominate Boyd on November 6, 1966. The new Secretary had been a member and chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board and, at the time of his nomination, Under Secretary of Commerce. Boyd served as Secretary for the rest of the Johnson Administration, resigning effective January 20, 1969. (See January 22, 1969.)
19910116: One day after the expiration of a United Nations deadline for Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait, military aircraft of the U.S.-led coalition began Operation Desert Storm, striking targets in Iraq and occupied Kuwait. At 7:00 pm EST, shortly after the attacks began, FAA declared Level 4 airport/airline security, the highest domestic level ever imposed. On January 17, the Department of Defense activated Level 2 of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program, calling upon U.S. airlines to provide additional transport aircraft. American and allied troops routed Iraqi forces in a ground assault that began on February 24, and a U.S.-proclaimed ceasefire took effect at midnight EST on February 27. (See August 17, 1990, and May 14, 1991.)
19970116: FAA announced that the new Display Channel Complex Rehost (DCCR) computer system began operations, ten months ahead of schedule, at the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center. (See April 1, 1996.)
20090116: Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell resigned with the change in presidential administrations. Lynne Osmus, acting deputy administrator, became the acting administrator. (See February 7, 2008; March 27, 2009.)
20130116: FAA ordered all Boeing 787’s grounded. FAA’s emergency airworthiness directive required the aircraft operator or Boeing to prove the batteries safe before the aircraft could fly again. On this same day, All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Co., the world’s largest users of Boeing 787 jets, grounded their entire fleets of Dreamliners after one of All Nippon’s 787s made an emergency landing in Japan the previous day because of smoke coming from the aircraft. (See January 11, 2013; March 12, 2013.)
20130116: In his weekly message to ATO employees, COO David Grizzle announced plans to combine the terminal and en route service organizations into a new air traffic services (AJT) organization. The reorganization would be effective on October 6, 2013, pending congressional approval. He also announced ATO would no longer support its own communications office, and FAA’s office of communications would handle ATO needs. As part of the reorganization, he divided the Eastern, Central, and Western service areas into northern and southern regions, with each of those six new areas reporting to a vice president (VP) of the newly formed AJT organization. The AJT would oversee contract towers, other contract operations, and technical issues. In addition, a significant portion of terminal and en route headquarters functions would move into other service units – more than 40 current terminal and en route personnel would move to mission support services, ten or more would move to management services, and several others would move to safety and technical training, and system operations services. FAA received congressional approval the week of October 21 and the reorganization became effective on November 3. (See August 6, 2013; August 13, 2013.)
20200116: The Special Committee to Review the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Certification Process, appointed by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in April 2019 after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people, issued its report. The committee concluded FAA correctly treated certification of the Max jet as an update to older 737s and not as a new type of plane, which would have subjected it to more examination. The group, gave high marks overall to FAA’s process for certifying planes, calling it safe and effective and a boost to the U.S. aerospace industry. (See January 5, 2020.)