This Day in FAA History: January 24th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19610124: The Convair 990 (model 30) first flew. On December 15, FAA certificated the four-engine jet airliner of medium-to-long range with a maximum capacity of 121 passengers. The plane, built by General Dynamics Corporation, entered scheduled service on March 9, 1963, with Swissair.
19740124: A U.S. appeals court issued a decision upholding the Age-60 rule (see March 15, 1960). The court held that FAA rules that apply generally, even though they affect individuals, do not require an adjudicatory proceeding before being adopted. The case grew out of a petition filed with FAA on June 5, 1970, by the Air Line Pilots Association. The petition charged that the rule was invalid and requested that it be revoked and that FAA hold “public evidentiary proceedings for the development of a record” that could be used to decide the rule’s legality.
Subsequent years saw further legal challenges to the Age-60 rule, but courts continued to uphold it. On December 19, 1978, for example, a U.S. appeals court affirmed FAA’s decision to deny the petition of an airline pilot for exemption from the rule. The pilot had argued that his physical condition met medical standards, but the court found that FAA’s application of the age-60 criterion was reasonable. (See August 4, 1977.)
19890124: FAA Administrator T. Allan McArtor reestablished the Administrator’s Executive Committee, or EXCOM (see February 5, 1973). The four executive directors and the general counsel made up the membership of the reconstituted committee, with the Executive Director for Policy, Plans, and Resource Management serving as permanent chair. The committee’s primary function was to review and evaluate the recommendations of the Administrator’s Review Committee on the budget, policy, and other critical issues. The EXCOM was replaced on November 24, 1989, by the Executive Board. The Deputy Administrator served as the permanent chair of the board, with the Executive Director for Policy, Plans, and Resource Management serving as alternate chair. (See March 10, 1994.)
20080124: FAA announced that, as a result of the runway safety summit held in August 2007, FAA and industry had made significant accomplishments in achieving the goals of their runway safety plan. As of this date, 71 of the targeted 75 medium and large airports had completed upgrades to airport painted markings. The remaining four were expected to have their markings upgraded well in advance of the June 2008 deadline. Sixty-two small airports had also upgraded their markings, 121 airports planned to complete the work by the end of the year, 25 airports planned to enhance markings in 2009, and 22 airports had expressed interest, but had not yet provided a target completion date. FAA proposed extending the enhanced taxiway centerline requirement at all certificated airports. FAA published a draft change to Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5340- 1J, Standards for Airport Markings, in late December 2007. Comments were due by February 26, 2008. In addition, FAA completed a runway safety review of 20 airports based on runway incursion data and wrong runway departure data. FAA also issued a draft change to AC 150/5210-20, Ground Vehicle Operations on Airports, in late December 2007. Public comments were due by February 26, 2008. (See August 15, 2007; January 15, 2009.)
20120124: New regulations went into effect requiring airlines and ticket agents to include all mandatory taxes and fees in published airfares and to disclose baggage fees to consumers. The new provisions, part of the airline consumer rule issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation in April 2011, included requirements allowing passengers to hold a reservation without payment, or cancel a booking without penalty, for 24 hours after making a reservation, if they made it one week or more prior to a flight’s departure date. In addition, airlines had to notify passengers of flight delays of over 30 minutes, as well as flight cancellations and diversions, and they were prohibited from increasing the price of passenger tickets after purchase. (See November 14, 2011; July 24, 2012; December 5, 2017.)
20220124: DOT announced a final rule that enabled it to speed up the rulemaking process and protect consumers by providing greater flexibility to appoint appropriate hearing officers, eliminate the requirement for the officer to issue a detailed report, and provide more options for the officer on when and how testimony would be presented at the hearing. It also clarified that hearings would only be granted if they were in the public interest.