This Day in FAA History: February 26th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19610226: FAA and the U.S. Weather Bureau announced the expansion of aviation weather services. Under the joint program, direct weather briefing service would be made available to pilots at hundreds of additional airports. The expanded program involved training FAA’s 4,000 flight service specialists to handle preflight briefing and to answer air-ground requests for weather information.
19680226: FAA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking inviting comments on the advisability of requiring general aviation pilots to carry crash locator beacons when flying over large bodies of water, mountainous terrain, or remote areas. The agency cited a growing body of opinion that the device would be useful in the rapid location of crash sites and survivors. FAA had begun testing the equipment in 1963, and had subsequently encouraged its use (see January 9, 1964). The agency had resisted regulatory action, however, because of the equipment’s high cost and the need for related airborne search units used to “home in” on the crash site. (See March 20, 1969.)
19680226: FAA’s put into operation its National Airspace Communications System (NASCOM), a daily nationwide telephone conference. NASCOM connected the Administrator, Deputy Administrator, the associate administrators, the heads of FAA’s operating services, the regional directors, and area managers in the contiguous United States, and the directors of NAFEC and the Aeronautical Center in a telephone discussion of the status of the National Airspace System (NAS). The agency developed NASCOM because of the need to keep Washington headquarters closely and constantly in touch with activities in the NAS.
19850226: FAA published Advisory Circular 91-62 stating a new policy on child restraint systems (CRSs). The background of this issue included the formation of an FAA Task force to evaluate the use on aircraft of CRSs, also known as child safety seats. On June 1, 1979, the task force had recommended that the agency adopt the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for CRSs, with additional provisions for aircraft use. FAA developed performance standards which it published as a Technical Standard Order on May 28, 1982. Subsequently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and FAA had worked toward a common standard.
Advisory Circular 91-62 declared that a CRS manufactured after February 25, 1985, was suitable for aviation if it bore a NHTSA label certifying it for use in both motor vehicles and aircraft. In addition, a CRS made between January 1, 1981, and February 25, 1985, was suitable for use in aircraft provided it bore a NHTSA label indicating that it met Federal motor vehicle standards. The new FAA policy made an additional 6 million child seats acceptable for use aloft. FAA encouraged but did not require use of the devices, and airlines could decide whether to permit them (see September 15, 1992). Children under the age of two might still be held in an adult’s lap during takeoff and landing.
19910226: The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority dedicated a new terminal for international arrivals at Dulles International Airport.
20080226: FAA announced plans to install runway status lights at Los Angeles International Airport. Using a series of red lights embedded in the pavement, the system would warn pilots if it were unsafe to cross over or enter a runway. Under an agreement between FAA and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), pilots would begin testing runway status lights in early 2009. LAWA would fund the system at an estimated cost of $6 million. FAA would install, test, evaluate and maintain the system. (See October 16, 2008.)
20100226: FAA announced the selection of Karlin Toner, Ph.D., as the new Director of the NextGen Joint Planning and Development Office. Toner served as senior advisor to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on NextGen and continued in that role. In her new position, Toner reported to the FAA deputy administrator. (See January 26, 2009.)