This Day in FAA History: February 7th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19610207: FAA commissioned the Cleveland air traffic control center’s new building, followed by the Jacksonville center’s new building on February 25.
19610207: Affirming the decision of a neutral committee, the U.S. National Mediation Board ruled that the pilots and flight engineers of United Air Lines constituted one craft for purposes of representation. The Board ordered an election in which the Flight Engineers International Association (FEIA) faced certain defeat by the more numerous members of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). On February 17, flight engineers walked off the job at seven airlines to protest the board’s decision, which they feared would set an industry-wide precedent. On February 21, with several wildcat strikes still in progress, President Kennedy appointed a three-man investigative commission headed by law professor Nathan Feinsinger. On May 24 and October 17, the commission issued two reports recommending that: all four-man cockpit crews be gradually reduced to three men; flight engineers on jets should take pilot training at airline expense; FEIA and ALPA should merge or take other cooperative action to settle their dispute over flight deck jurisdiction; and no disciplinary action should be taken against the flight engineers who struck in February. ALPA gave formal acceptance to only part of these recommendations, while FEIA accepted them as suggestions rather than binding solutions. All the airlines except Western, which refused to rehire its striking engineers, accepted the recommendations. By negotiations or strike-breaking, all the carriers that had been using a four-man cockpit crew had succeeded in eliminating the fourth man by the end of 1964. (See June 7, 1960 and April 21, 1965.)
19720207: FAA announced that air traffic controllers fired for their activist roles in the 1970 strike could apply for re-employment. Of the 52 controllers dismissed, 46 applied and were rehired. (See January 29, 1971, and October 20, 1972.)
19830207: Elizabeth Hanford Dole became Secretary of Transportation. Dole had directed the President’s Committee for Consumer Interests under the Johnson Administration. She remained at that post after Nixon succeeded Johnson in 1969, then moved to other posts, including a seat on the Federal Trade Commission. Originally a Democrat, she registered as an independent on taking the FTC post in 1973, and became a Republican about the time of her marriage to Senator Robert Dole (R-Kan.) in December 1975. She resigned from the FTC in March 1979 to campaign for her husband in his unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination, then participated in the Reagan campaign. In 1981, she became Assistant to the President for Public Liaison, and remained in that position until accepting the cabinet post. (See October 1, 1987.)
19910207: FAA announced a Runway Incursion Plan to cut incursions through actions that included tests of advances in runway marking, lighting, and signs at four airports: Boston, Seattle-Tacoma, Pittsburgh, and the new Denver airport under construction (see January 15, 1989). On February 15, the agency also amended its ATC Handbook to prohibit controllers from authorizing aircraft to hold at a taxiway/runway intersection at night or when the intersection was not visible from the tower. The change was among several that FAA had been considering as the result of a ground procedures review, begun in early 1990, that also resulted in the Runway Incursion Plan. (See February 1, 1991.)
19920207: The Department of Transportation published a request for public comments on rules that may be outdated, too costly, or impede economic growth. The action was a response to President Bush’s January 28 State of the Union speech declaring a 90-day rulemaking moratorium and a review of regulations. On May 1, Secretary Card announced that a regulatory review had identified over 300 administrative or legislative changes in DOT regulations that would help the nation’s economy.
20080207: The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a confirmation hearing for acting FAA Administrator Robert Sturgell to become the FAA administrator. After the hearing, New Jersey’s two democratic senators, Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez, placed a hold on the nomination, preventing it from going to the Senate floor for a vote. Both said they had concerns about safety and traffic issues with FAA. Both senators were also unhappy with FAA changes to the New York area airspace, saying the changes added to noise pollution. Sturgell had been acting FAA Administrator since Marion Blakey’s term expired. Bush nominated Sturgell to be her replacement October 23. (See September 13, 2007; January 16, 2009.)
20120207: FAA and airport officials at the Rocky Mountain Metro Airport in Broomfield, CO, dedicated the airport’s new control tower. The $23 million tower replaced one built in 1966.
20230207: Boeing delivered its final 747 to Atlas Air.