This Day in FAA History: January 25th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19300125: American Airways was formed out of a group of carriers that had operated separately under the Aviation Corporation (AVCO), a holding company chartered on March 3, 1929. American Airways changed its name to American Airlines on April 11, 1934.
19300125: An amendment to the Air Commerce Regulations set 500 feet as the minimum altitude at which aircraft might fly, except when landing and taking off.
19590125: Transcontinental jet airliner service began as American Airlines inaugurated Boeing 707 flights between New York and Los Angeles. The new service also made American the first U.S. airline to begin domestic scheduled jet flights using its own aircraft (see October 4, 1958). High-altitude radar advisory service was also established, using FAA-military radar teams based at 17 military installations across the United States.
19670125: A study of aircraft noise at Washington National Airport (WNA) released on this date revealed that four-engine piston air carrier aircraft made more noise on departure than did two- and three-engine jet air carrier aircraft. (Four-engine jet airliners were not permitted at WNA: see April 24, 1966.) The noise levels of executive jet aircraft were relatively high, and turboprop air carrier aircraft, as a group, were the quietest on both departure and arrival. During the first half of 1967, FAA developed and implemented a two-segment takeoff profile for noise abatement at WNA. The procedure called for a rapid climb to a specified altitude, and then a reduced-thrust climb until the aircraft was ten miles from the airport. AN FAA study of aircraft overflight recordings showed that the procedure was effective. (See July 18, 1960, and December 4, 1967.)
19750125: Approaching Washington National Airport, a Beech King Air executive turboprop came in too low and crashed into a broadcasting tower at American University, killing all five aboard. The accident occurred in the wake of the crash of a TWA jetliner on approach to Washington Dulles airport, and it added to mounting criticism of FAA. (See December 1 and 27, 1974.)
19800125: Armed with a pistol and pretending to have a bomb, a hijacker who identified himself as a Black Muslim diverted a Delta Airlines L-1011 to Cuba. He demanded to be flown to Iran, but eventually surrendered to Cuban authorities. This was the first U.S. air carrier hijacking in which real weapons or high explosives passed through the passenger screening system since the implementation of strict new airport security measures on December 5, 1972 (see that date and July 22, 1980).
19800125: DOT announced the award of competitive contracts to three companies to design computer systems for automating FAA’s network of flight service stations (FSS). The winning design was expected to improve upon AWANS and MAPS, two systems already tested in use at certain FAA facilities (see September 1977). Computers were to be located at air route traffic control centers and linked by telephone lines to the FSS sites. (See June 1979 and April 2, 1980.)
19900125: Attempting to land at New York Kennedy airport, a Boeing 707 operated by the Colombian airline Avianca ran out of fuel and crashed on Long Island, fatally injuring 73 of the 158 people on board. On February 25, demonstrators drove a procession of automobiles through Kennedy as a protest against air traffic controllers’ alleged mishandling of the flight. The National Transportation Safety Board cited the probable cause of the accident as the crew’s failure to manage their fuel load or alert controllers to their fuel emergency. Among the contributing factors, however, the Board pointed to a lack of clear, standardized terminology on fuel emergencies, as well as inadequate traffic flow management. FAA’s actions in reponse to the accident included steps to address these concerns and to stress the need for clear pilot/controller communication and for air carriers to be thoroughly familiar with rules and procedures.
20010125: Former Member of Congress Norman Y. Mineta (D-CA) took the oath of office as the nation’s fourteenth Secretary of Transportation. The lone Democrat in George W. Bush’s cabinet, Mineta, age sixty-nine, had been Secretary of Commerce in the outgoing Clinton Administration, and was the first Asian Pacific American to hold this Cabinet-rank post. (See July 7, 2006.)
20190125: President Donald Trump signed a measure to end the 35-day-long partial federal government shutdown.
20200125: Boeing announced it had completed a successful first flight of its new model 777X jetliner. The flight, over Washington State, lasted three hours and 51 minutes. (See June 18, 2019.)
20230125: Construction began on a new air traffic control tower at the Asheville Regional Airport. FAA committed $15 million for the new tower, which will be 127 feet tall, topped by a 440-square-foot cab with three air traffic controllers. The 13,300-square-foot base building will house the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) with five air traffic controllers.