This Day in FAA History: February 1st

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19300201: The Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics terminated its activities. Established in January 1926 to support the development of American aviation in its formative years, the fund had promoted aeronautical education, subsidized research projects, and assisted efforts to develop commercial aircraft. Daniel Guggenheim intended that the fund be closed when private enterprise would find it “practicable and profitable to carry on.”
19430201: CAA inaugurated an expanded flight advisory service at all air route traffic control centers. The centers originated advisories on weather changes and hazardous conditions, and airway communication stations relayed this information to nonscheduled pilots. The service provided these pilots with some of the assistance that airline pilots received from their dispatchers. In July 1943, CAA’s communication stations also began a flight communications service. When contacting pilots by radio, communicators were instructed to volunteer information on important weather changes or inoperative facilities along their route.
19460201: Association of Aviation Underwriters announced a 30 percent rate reduction in personal accident insurance for domestic airline passengers.
19630201: In a formal agreement effective this date, the Deputy Secretary of Defense and the FAA Administrator called for joint FAA-DOD use of operational point-to-point communications networks on a worldwide basis. As the first step, leasing of FAA’s commercial-wire communications requirements was phased in as an activity of the Defense Communications Agency. The phase-in was complete by the following June 30. The integration of FAA-DOD telecommunications facilities was undertaken to enhance the efficiency and reliability of both agencies’ communications. Specific benefits foreseen included cost savings, greater protection for FAA’s communications against service disruption, and an optimum balance of operational and economic considerations in a system satisfying both military and FAA cryptographic requirements.
19670201: A Civil Aeronautics Board order effective this date permitted the merger of Pan American-Grace Airways (Panagra) into Braniff International Airways. President Johnson had approved the purchase of Panagra by Braniff on October 19, 1966. The merger reduced the number of U.S. flag carriers serving South America from three to two–Braniff and Pan American World Airways.
19670201: FAA awarded a contract to the Raytheon Company for the purchase of computer display channels for NAS En Route Stage A, the agency’s automation program for its air route traffic control centers (ARTCC’s). The computer display channel comprised about a third of the equipment in an automated ARTCC and was the final link in the process of providing the air traffic controllers with three-dimensional information on their radar display. The contract was the largest awarded to that date for air traffic control equipment. (See September 2, 1964.)
19770201: Brock Adams became Secretary of Transportation, succeeding William T. Coleman, Jr., with the change in administrations. Adams had been a Democratic congressman from the State of Washington since 1964 and a leading transportation authority in the House of Representatives. (See July 20, 1979.)
19870201: The Texas Air holding corporation merged New York Air and People Express into Continental Airlines.
19910201: In a night approach to Los Angeles International Airport, a USAir 737 landed atop a Sky West commuter Fairchild Metroliner III. Both planes then slid into a building as fire began. Fatalities included all 12 persons aboard the commuter flight and 22 of the 89 aboard the USAir flight. On October 22, the National Transportation Safety Board listed the accident’s probable cause as air traffic control management deficiencies that lead to a controller’s issuing inappropriate clearances. FAA actions after the accident included assigning additional controllers to the tower and adjusting runway lights to prevent glare from obstructing the view from the tower. (See February 7, 1991.)
19970201: Barry L. Valentine followed Linda Hall Daschle as acting FAA Administrator, effective at midnight. Monte Belger continued as acting deputy administrator. (See November 9, 1996; December 19, 1997; August 4, 1999.)
20050201: FAA announced selection of a team headed by Lockheed Martin to take over services provided currently by the agency’s automated flight service stations. The total evaluated cost of the five-year contract, with five additional option years, was $1.9 billion and represented estimated savings of $2.2 billion over the next ten years. After careful review, FAA had formally announced in December 2003 that its flight service stations met the criteria for competitive sourcing and that it would conduct a competition under OMB’s Circular A-76 guidelines for an improved way to provide flight service operations. FAA then evaluated five competing service providers, including the incumbent government organization, to determine the best value to the government for the delivery of effective services to support safe and efficient flight. Lockheed Martin assumed operation of the flight service stations in October 2005. Incremental consolidation of the 58 current flight service stations would begin in April 2006 and was expected to result in 20 sites by the end of March 2007. October 4, the responsibility for flight services transitioned seamlessly from FAA to Lockheed Martin. (See May 2004; September 2010.)
20050201: Citing FAA’s high priority on cost accounting and the routine use of such information in FAA decision making, GAO announced it had removed the agency from its high risk list for financial management.