This Day in FAA History: February 8th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19330208: The Boeing 247 first flew. Often considered the first modern airliner, this single-wing airplane of all-metal construction was powered by two Pratt & Whitney Wasp air-cooled radial engines. It had a gross takeoff weight of 12,650 pounds and accommodated 10 passengers. The Aeronautics Branch type-certificated the plane on March 16, 1933, and it entered scheduled airline service on March 30, 1933.
19590208: FAA announced plans to coordinate Federal research and development in aviation weather forecasting and reporting. The announcement followed general agreement between FAA, the Department of Commerce (Weather Bureau), and Department of Defense on the need for such a joint research program.
19850208: FAA established a policy that the Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) would be the standard visual glideslope indicator for new, Federally-funded installations at fixed-wing airports. PAPI was an improved version of VASI, the Visual Approach Slope Indicator (see October 12, 1970). The PAPI system featured four bars of light and was able to give pilots an indication of the extent of their deviation from the desired glide path, rather than merely warning that they were too high or too low. In 1982, the International Civil Aviation Organization had adopted PAPI to replace VASI, which would cease to be the international standard on January 1, 1995. In May 1983, FAA had changed its longstanding policy of funding only VASI to one permitting funding of various different systems, with the exception that only PAPI was funded for international airports. The agency’s February 1985 shift to exclusive funding of PAPI reflected a desire to promote safety through standardization. In response to congressional action, however, FAA modified this policy to permit funding of systems other than PAPI at general aviation airports not certificated for air carrier use.
19880208: FAA announced that it had retired airplane registration number N16020, used by Amelia Earhart when she disappeared on a flight over the Pacific Ocean (see July 2, 1937). The number had been recently held by Continental Air Lines, which had agreed to its retirement.
19890208: A Boeing 707 crashed into a fog-shrouded mountain on the Azores island of Santa Maria with the loss of all 144 persons aboard. The small U.S. charter company Independent Air had operated the aircraft.
19910208: FAA’s first annual Capital Investment Plan (CIP) became effective, superseding the National Airspace System Plan, or NASP (see January 28, 1982). The new plan incorporated the NASP projects, over 86 percent of which were completed or in field implementation. The CIP was issued to the public on April 23.
20040208: FAA’s new ATO officially began operations. The fundamental realignment gave the ATO responsibility for providing air traffic services, research and acquisition, as well as for the free flight organizations. The change came after a decades-long attempt by previous administrations, Congress, and FAA to improve the delivery of air traffic services by adopting business-like practices. (See November 18, 2004.)
20160208: The U.S. and 22 other countries reached agreement on the first-ever global carbon standards for commercial aircraft. When fully implemented, the standards were expected to reduce carbon emissions more than 650 million tons between 2020 and 2040, equivalent to removing over 140 million cars from the road for a year. The technology standards, agreed to at ICAO, would apply to aircraft manufacturers when formally adopted by the ICAO Council.
20210208: FAA announced expansion of its weather camera program to Hawaii. FAA planned to install 23 camera facilities throughout the islands. The agency began camera installations on Kauai in March. (See August 4, 2020.)