This Day in FAA History: March 7th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19690307: A Civil Aeronautics Board rule effective this date imposed the first Federal requirement for air taxi operators to carry liability insurance covering passengers as well as persons and property on the ground. The minimum coverage was $75,000 per person and $100,000 for property damage.
19700307: Effective this date, FAA required every U.S. civil aircraft owner to submit an annual report on aircraft registration, eligibility, identification, and activity no later than June 30 of each year. The submission of the annual reports through 1977 permitted the updating of the aircraft register and the removal of about 32,000 obsolete records. On January 25, 1978, FAA revoked the annual reporting requirement because the register could now be kept largely current on the basis of sales records and other information received in the normal course of business. The agency noted, however, that it might be necessary to implement a new reporting procedure. (See April 30, 1980.)
19750307: William T. Coleman, Jr., became Secretary of Transportation. An attorney from Philadelphia, Coleman was the second black Cabinet member in American history. On January 14, President Ford had declared his intention to nominate Coleman to replace Claude S. Brinegar, who had announced his resignation on December 18, 1974. Coleman served the remainder of the Ford Administration, resigning effective January 20, 1977.
19860307: FAA proposed a $9.5 million civil penalty against Eastern Air Lines, by far the largest penalty the agency had proposed to that date, for safety violations revealed during an inspection from December 3, 1985, through February 20, 1986. Eastern objected to the fine, but in February 1987 agreed to pay. Meanwhile, on August 22, 1986, FAA announced that Pan American would pay $1.95 million for safety violations revealed by an inspection that began in March. This was the largest penalty actually levied by FAA to that date, but smaller than the $3.9 million originally proposed to Pan Am for these violations.
19900307: FAA published three airworthiness directives requiring extensive structural modifications to older Boeing 727s, 737s, and 747s. The first in a series of directives dealing with older airliners, the rules reflected a new FAA approach adopted in 1988 (see June 1 of that year). To combat the hazard of structural deterioration, the agency had historically relied upon mandatory inspections that became more frequent as aircraft aged. Now, however, it required preventive modifications for high-service airliners and the replacement of certain parts after a specified number of flight hours or takeoff-and-landing cycles. FAA also asked for comments on a proposal to require corrosion control programs for certain aging Boeing aircraft. This requirement, which became effective on December 31, 1991, was also extended to other aircraft types.
20070307: FAA released an updated plan to hire air traffic controllers over the next ten years. The plan provided a range of authorized controller staffing numbers for each of the FAA’s 314 staffed facilities across the country, giving the agency greater flexibility to match the number of controllers with traffic volume and workload. The agency had planned to hire and train more than 15,000 controllers over the next decade, and the updated plan called for hiring nearly 1,400 new controllers by year’s end. (See August 24, 2006.)
20080307: The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announced that the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Team of public and private sector groups had been selected as the recipient of the 2007 Robert J. Collier Trophy. The team included the FAA, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Air Line Pilots Association, Cargo Airline Association, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, ITT Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, NASA, MITRE Corporation, UPS, ACSS, among others. NAA formally presented the Collier Trophy on June 12. The Collier Trophy is awarded annually for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America. (See October 2, 2007; November 24, 2008.)
20120307: FAA requested public input on the agency’s selection process for six aircraft system (UAS) test sites, as mandated by Congress under the National Defense Authorization Act and the 2012 FAA reauthorization bill. Specifically, the request for comment asked for input on several important questions, such as public versus private management of the sites, research activities and capabilities of the test areas, the requirements for test site operators, and the geographic and climate factors that should influence site selection. (See February 14, 2013.)
20140307: FAA issued a notice appealing a March 6 decision by an NTSB Administrative Law Judge in the civil penalty case Huerta v. Pirker. That decision dismissed a proposed civil penalty for unauthorized use of an unmanned aircraft system. FAA proposed a $10,000 civil penalty in August 2011 against Raphael Pirker for acting as pilot-in-command of a Ritewing Zephyr UAS for compensation without possessing a pilot certificate. FAA further charged the UAS was operated “in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.” Pirker appealed the decision to NTSB, arguing there was no valid rule in the federal aviation regulations covering model aircraft flight operations. While FAA argued model aircraft by definition were aircraft, NTSB said such an “interpretive argument would lead to a conclusion that those definitions include as an aircraft all types of devices/contrivances intended for, or used for, flight in the aircraft. The extension of that conclusion would then result in the risible argument that a flight in the air of, e.g., a paper aircraft, or a toy balsa wood glider, could subject the ‘operator’ to the regulatory provisions of FAA Part 91.” FAA appealed the decision to the full NTSB, which had the effect of staying the decision until the full NTSB ruled. The agency expressed concerned that the decision could impact the safe operation of the national airspace system and the safety of people and property on the ground. On April 7, FAA filed its administrator’s appeal brief with NTSB. (See January 2014; November 18, 2014.)
20140307: FAA granted the Republic of AzerbaiJanuary a Category 1 rating for aviation safety after an assessment determined it complied with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards. The country previously did not hold an international aviation safety assessment rating and no carrier of AzerbaiJanuary had provided service to the U.S. According to a FAA statement, the Republic of Azerbaijan’s air carriers could now add flights and service to the U.S. and carry the code of U.S. carriers. (See January 2014; April 10, 2014.)