This Day in FAA History: February 12th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19310212: The Department of Commerce placed the radio range beacon at Medicine Bow, Wyo., into continuous operation, completing the directional radio marking of the entire route from San Francisco to New York.
19310212: An amendment to existing regulations covering interstate airline operations required a copilot on all aircraft flying a schedule of five or more hours with eight or more passengers. (See October 1, 1931.)
19350212: The U.S. Navy’s rigid airship Macon crashed at sea off the California coast. This crash, coupled with the loss of the Macon’s sister ship, the Akron, two years earlier, ended U.S. interest in rigid airship development.
19740212: FAA inaugurated a new program aimed at providing a general review of airworthiness regulations every two years to see that such rules were promulgated or amended in a more timely and systematic manner. The process was to be carried out with the full participation of other Federal agencies, the U.S. aviation industry, and foreign governments, which were invited to submit rulemaking proposals. The suggestions were processed and considered at a Biennial Airworthiness Review Conference, held in Washington on December 2-11, 1974. The success of this event lead to the establishment, on February 26, 1975, of a similar program for operational rules, and to a Biennial Operations Review Conference in December 1975. The two review programs eventually resulted in hundreds of rule changes. It proved impossible to complete the process within a two-year period, however, and a biennial cycle was not established.
19860212: FAA commissioned the first “family” group of automated flight service stations (AFSSs), at airports in Cleveland, Ohio, Dayton, Ohio, and Bridgeport, Conn. The group of stations used the Model 1 Flight Service Automation System (see October 2, 1981). They were linked by dedicated communications lines with a Central Flight Service Data Processing System (FSDPS) at the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center. Computer terminals at the three automated stations gave flight service specialists quick access to weather information, flight plans, and other data continually fed into the FSDPS. The commissioning was part of FAA’s long-range plan to consolidate all its flight service stations into 61 automated facilities. On September 28, 1987, FAA completed the first phase of the AFSS program as it commissioned the 37th and final AFSS planned to receive the initial version of the Model 1 system. In February 1987, meanwhile, Congress had approved development of the Model 1 Full Capacity system in place of the Model 2 system that FAA had originally planned. (See November 1982, and November 8, 1991)
19870212: FAA initiated Phase 1 of the Expanded East Coast Plan (EECP) to help increase the capacity of the National Airspace System (see August 21, 1986). The plan had been originally intended to relieve traffic congestion in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas through the more effective use of airspace, but was expanded to cover the airspace from Maine to Florida and west to Chicago. The EECP: created new departure and arrival routes; established separate paths and altitudes for jets and slower propeller aircraft; set up new city-pair routes; and used new traffic management techniques to increase airport departure flows and reduce holding procedures. The agency initiated Phase II of plan on November 19. That phase involved a realignment of the northwest departure quadrant from the New York Metropolitan area. The agency also increased the number of westbound high-altitude, routes from one to four to expedite traffic flows to Chicago, Detroit, and the west coast. The final phase of the EECP, implemented on March 10, 1988, was designed to improve traffic flow from the New York area to the northeast, and involved changes affecting the airspace in New England, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. (See August 25, 1988.)
19970212: In compliance with Executive Order 13015, the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security (Gore Commission) released its final report to President Clinton. Its recommendations included: reducing the aviation fatal accident rate by a factor of five within ten years, requiring installation of enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems on all civil and military passenger aircraft (see November 6, 1996), expanding the aging aircraft program to cover non-structural systems, passing legislation to protect employees who report safety/security violations, ending the exemption of passengers younger than age two from restraint systems, and requiring smoke detectors in the cargo holds of all passenger aircraft. Air traffic control recommendations included: national airspace system (NAS) modernization by 2005, stronger leadership in global positioning system (GPS) implementation, requiring NAS users to fund its development and operation, and identifying the frequency spectrum needed for air traffic control. Security recommendations included: federal funding for a major security improvement, new FAA standards for baggage matching and passenger profile screening, U.S. Post Office examination of all packages over one pound, and a U.S. proposal for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to begin verifying international security compliance. The commission also recommended measures designed to improve response to aviation disasters. Responding to the Gore Commission report, FAA and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced a joint initiative, in partnership with the Department of Defense and industry, to reduce aircraft accident rates five-fold within ten years. (See January 14, 1997; January 15, 1997; February 6, 1997; December 15, 1997.)
19980212: Department of Transportation issued a rule mandating that, beginning the upcoming fall, airlines must collect the full names of all passengers traveling on international flights and be prepared to make a passenger manifest available within three hours of a crash. The rule was one of several Department of Transportation actions issued on the first anniversary of the publication of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security report.
19980212: FAA issued a final rule requiring fire detection and suppression systems in aircraft cargo compartments. (See June 10, 1997; March 19, 2001.)
20090212: Colgan Air (Continental Connection) Flight 3407, on a scheduled passenger flight from Newark, NJ, crashed while on approach to the Buffalo/Niagara International Airport. The twin-engine turboprop had been cleared for the ILS approach to runway 23 in icy weather conditions when it disappeared from radar approximately 5 miles northeast of the airport. Soon after, it was reported that the aircraft had crashed into a residence and exploded in flames near the Buffalo suburb of Clarence Center. All 49 passengers onboard the aircraft and one person on the ground were killed. (See June 9, 2009.)
20130212: FAA approved the Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Center as an overseas repair station, making it the first aviation support facility in mainland China to hold Part 145 approval. (See November 20, 2009; August 12, 2014.)