This Day in FAA History: February 17th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19480217: The Executive Committee of the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) accepted a special committee report on air traffic control (see June 12, 1947). Prepared by top government-industry representatives and technicians in the field of aeronautical telecommunications, the report outlined “interim” and “target” requirements for a common military-civil air traffic control system. In its recommendations for the transition period, the special committee recommended implementation of very high frequency omnidirectional ranges (VORs) and distance measuring equipment (DME). The plan called for the ultimate development of reliable all-weather navigation and landing aids, integrated into an ultramodern airways traffic control system. The report’s recommendations were accepted by Congress and all major users of the airspace. The RTCA received the 1949 Collier Trophy for these efforts. (See December 1949.)
19620217: The Director of the Bureau of the Budget proposed appointment of a joint Bureau of the Budget/Department of Defense/Federal Aviation Agency Steering Committee to study outstanding problems and recommend further action in the matter of the proposed mass transfer of military air navigation facilities to FAA and consolidation of air traffic management functions in that agency as part of Project Friendship (see May 1959).
In the course of the following month, such a Steering Committee was appointed, consisting of the Assistant Director of the Bureau of the Budget, DOD’s General Counsel, and FAA’s Deputy Administrator (later, Associate Administrator) for Administration. On April 4, 1962, the Steering Committee approved a prospectus for the study drawn up by a working group from the three agencies. In the same month, on recommendation of the Steering Group, FAA advised the appropriate Senate and House committees that hearings on the bill to establish a Federal Aviation Service to provide centralized operation of all air navigation facilities should be deferred pending the Steering Committee’s findings. (See September 21, 1961, and March 1, 1963.)
19740217: A soldier flew a stolen Army helicopter to the White House, where guards open fire with shotguns. Wounded in the legs, the soldier landed on the lawn and was taken into custody.
19870217: FAA added a new commuter category of aircraft and set forth the airworthiness and operating rules, certification procedures, and noise rules for that additional category of propeller-driven, multi-engine airplane, with a seating capacity of no more than 19, and a takeoff weight of no more than 19,000 pounds.
19870217: DOT announced a program designed to identify and prosecute pilots who failed to declare drug or alcohol-related convictions on medical certificate applications. (See April 17, 1985, and July 26, 1990.)
19890217: Effective this date, T. Allan McArtor resigned as FAA Administrator. The post of Acting Administrator was filled by Robert Whittington, whose regular position was now Executive Director for Policy, Plans, and Resource Management. (See June 30, 1989.)
19940217: FAA announced that it was implementating civil use of the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) of the Global Positioning System (GPS). IOC signified that the system’s 24 satellites were operating in their assigned orbit and providing signals. FAA also stated that it had granted approval for certification of two types of GPS signal receivers. (See December 17, 1993, and June 2, 1994.)
19970217: Rodney E. Slater became Secretary of Transportation. Outgoing Department Of Transportation Secretary Federico Peña was designated to be Secretary of Energy, but this appointment was not yet confirmed. (See December 20, 1996.)
20020217: Effective this date, formal responsibility for aviation security transferred from FAA to TSA. (See February 13, 2002; March 13, 2002.)
20090217: AAR Landing Gear Services and FAA entered into a consent order that terminated the agency’s February 10 emergency suspension of the company’s repair station certificate. As a result of the consent order, AAR Landing Gear’s certificate now was in a state of “voluntary surrender.” To get it back, the company had to adhere to a list of agreed upon stipulations, including revisions to its manuals and procedures, stepped up non-destructive testing of components, greater FAA oversight, and enhanced training for its staff. (See February 10, 2009.)
20100217: An air traffic tower controller at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) permitted his 9 year old son to transmit six clearances on JFK’s tower frequency. The following day, his 7 year old daughter made a couple of transmissions also under supervision. FAA subsequently put the controller and a supervisor on administrative leave while it investigated the incident. FAA also suspended the tower visitor program, while it reviewed visitor procedures.