This Day in FAA History: January 23rd

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19810123: Drew Lewis became Secretary of Transportation, succeeding Neil E. Goldschmidt with the change of administrations. President Reagan had nominated Lewis on December 11, 1980, and the Senate had confirmed the nomination on January 22, 1981. A business management specialist from Philadelphia, Lewis first came to national attention in 1974, when he made an unsuccessful run for governor of Pennsylvania. He had served as Deputy Chairman of the Republican National Committee prior to accepting the Transportation cabinet post. (See December 28, 1982.)
19820123: In a night landing too far down an icy runway at Boston’s Logan airport, a World Airways DC-10 slid over the edge of a seawall and into shallow harbor water. The nose section separated from the fuselage, and two passengers seated at the separation point were later found to be missing and presumed drowned. In its original report on the accident, the National Transportation Safety Board listed pilot error as a contributory factor, but found the probable cause to be the pilot’s lack of information on the slippery runway conditions. The Board blamed this lack on the airport management and on FAA, citing inadequate regulation and air traffic controllers’ failure to relay runway condition reports. After protests from FAA and the airport authority, the Board issued a revised finding that placed somewhat more emphasis on pilot error.
19860123: Northwest Airlines announced that it would buy Republic Airlines. DOT approved the merger on July 31, 1986.
19910123: The Department of Transportation announced that it would relax restrictions on foreign investment in U.S. airlines. Under the new policy, investment of up to 49 percent of total equity obtained from foreign sources would not generally, by itself, be considered an indicator of foreign control.
20030123: FAA announced it had completed deployment of the Weather and Radar Processor (WARP) at all 20 air route traffic control centers. WARP allowed air traffic controllers to view highly accurate and timely weather information on the same display that showed aircraft position data. (See May 2002.)
20090123: Ray H. LaHood became the 16th U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
20120123: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta helped break ground for a $791 million runway expansion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The project would extend, shift, and lengthen Runway 9R/27L from 5,276 feet to 8,000 feet, giving the airport two parallel runways that increased the airport’s capacity from 84 to 107 flights per hour.
20150123: FAA issued revised guidance to address sleep apnea, a disorder that might result in daytime sleepiness, impaired alertness, mood changes, and fatigue. The new guidance did not rely on a pilot’s body mass index (BMI) to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Rather, the new policy stated, “The risk of OSA will be determined by an integrated assessment of history, symptoms and physical/clinical findings.” It incorporated guidance from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in determining a pilot’s airworthiness. Pilots determined to be at significant risk for OSA should receive a regular medical certificate and undergo a sleep apnea evaluation. The evaluation could be performed by any physician, including an aviation medical examiner (AME), and did not require a sleep study unless the physician believed one was needed. Pilots had 90 days to complete the evaluation and forward the results to FAA’s aerospace medical certification division, the regional flight surgeon’s office, or the AME. (See November 19, 2013.)