This Day in FAA History: March 8th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19280308: The Foreign Air Mail Act expanded the U.S. Post Office’s role in international mail by giving it new authority to award contracts for periods of up to ten years for transport of mail to foreign countries and U.S. insular possessions.
19610308: President Kennedy requested FAA Administrator Halaby “to conduct a scientific, engineering review of our aviation facilities and related research and development and to prepare a practicable long-range plan to insure efficient and safe control of all air traffic within the United States.” In response to this directive, the Administrator established the Project Beacon task force — a study group that brought together eight recognized experts in aeronautic and related technologies under the chairmanship of Richard R. Hough, vice president-operations of the Ohio Bell Telephone Company. (See September 11, 1961.)
19840308: Several aircraft descended too low while approaching Washington National airport in snowy conditions, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Seven days later, Transportation Secretary Dole announced an acceleration of planned steps to improve the safety of the approach. Later, on April 17, Dole stated further that a new electronic landing aid would be installed in Anacostia to permit pilots to follow a bad-weather approach path that was less difficult and further from tall buildings in Rosslyn, Va. (See December 28, 1982.)
19900308: A three-man Northwest Airlines flight crew took off from Fargo, N.D., despite an FAA inspector’s warning that they might be in violation of a rule against flying an aircraft within eight hours of consuming alcohol. After their landing in Minneapolis, the three crewmembers were given tests that showed their blood alcohol exceeded the permissible level. FAA revoked the trio’s airman certificates the next day. As a result of this incident, FAA announced on March 14 a six-point action plan designed to tighten drug and alcohol enforcement investigation procedures. On August 20, a Federal jury in Minneapolis convicted the three men of a felony for operating a common carrier while under the influence of alcohol, and they received jail sentences in October. (See April 17, 1985.)
19990308: FAA released the National Airspace System plan, version 4.0. The update extended the agency’s modernization strategy through 2015.
20140308: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777, disappeared en route to Beijing with 239 people on board. On May 1, as the search for the missing plane continued in the Indian Ocean, the Malaysian government issued a preliminary report on the plane’s disappearance. The five-page report included the recordings of communication between the flight-crew and air traffic controllers, which appeared routine. It also noted that it took four hours for the Malaysian search and rescue center to be activated from the time Vietnam told Malaysia the plane was missing.
20190308: FAA and European Union (EU) officials signed two decisions associated with the Airworthiness Annex of the US/EU Safety Agreement. The Bilateral Oversight Board (BOB) Decision 0008-0001 (PDF) enabled reductions of the EU’s European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) fees for validation of U.S. aerospace products. The decision covered simple design modifications such as basic supplemental type certificates. The second decision, BOB Decision 0009, amended the US/EU Safety Agreement to remove country specific limitations associated with aeronautical products and parts eligible for import into the United States. This amendment treated all EU Member States equally under the agreement and recognized EASA’s oversight and standardization processes throughout their jurisdiction.