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This Day in FAA History: March 21st

19420321: Spring, 1942: CAA Experimental Station in Indianapolis flight tested a stall-warning indicator for general aviation aircraft. The agency believed that some minor modifications in construction were desirable before a marketable device would be available. (See February 25, 1947.)
19460321: The Army Air Forces, the Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics, CAA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), and the aircraft industry formulated a National Aeronautical Research Policy. Promulgated largely to clarify the relationships of NACA with other research and development agencies, the policy statement charged NACA with responsibility for “research in the aeronautical sciences,” the military services with “the evaluation of military aircraft and equipment and the exploration of possible military applications of research results,” CAA with “expediting the practical use in civil aeronautics of newly developed aircraft and equipment,” and the aircraft industry with “application of research results in the design and development of improved aircraft equipment, both civil and military.”
19560321: Spring, 1956: The Senate Aviation Subcommittee, chaired by A. S. “Mike” Monroney (D-Okla.), held hearings relating to the resignation under fire of CAA Administrator Frederick Lee (see December 8, 1955) and to the larger allegation of the neglect of CAA by the Department of Commerce.
19600321: FAA announced the appointment of 21 of the nation’s leading forensic pathologists as consultants to help determine involvement of human factors in aircraft accidents. This nationwide system of consultants supplemented an already-existing program of aeromedical investigation of aircraft accidents by FAA’s Office of the Civil Air Surgeon with the assistance of pathologists from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.
19670321: Spring, 1967: Scheduled air-taxi operators agreed to limit their operations at Washington National Airport to a maximum of eight per hour. (See September 1, 1966, and June 1, 1969.)
19680321: Spring, 1968: The Stored Program AlphaNumerics (SPAN) equipment transferred to the New York air route traffic control center in 1966, and subsequently renamed Beacon AlphaNumerics (BAN), was dismantled and shipped to Atlanta, where it was to augment the ARTS I configuration at that terminal area. (ARTS and BAN hardware components were virtually identical.) While BAN had been perfectly capable of handling the en route traffic assigned to the Indianapolis ARTCC, it was incapable of meeting the considerably greater control demands imposed by the New York center, which had perhaps the most difficult radar beacon and traffic control environment in the United States. The chief difficulties with BAN in New York were those growing out of the configuration’s limited capacity. BAN could cover only nine of the center’s 37 sectors. Consequently, aircraft were flying out of sectors with automation into sectors without automation, and vice versa. (See February 1966.)
19750321: Spring 1975: U.S. air carriers conducted extensive civil aviation operations in Southeast Asia as the United States wound down its Indochinese commitment with a final spurt of activity. Requiring close cooperation between FAA, the State Department, and the Department of Defense, the operations ranged from airlifting rice and munitions into Pnom Penh, Cambodia, to the climactic evacuation of U.S. civilians from Saigon, Vietnam, in late April.
19760321: Effective this date, FAA required foreign air carriers operating large aircraft to and from the United States in scheduled passenger operations to maintain security programs which would insure: that all passengers and property carried aboard their aircraft were subject to effective weapons screening procedures prior to boarding; that there was no unauthorized access to their aircraft; that no unauthorized weapons, bombs, or incendiary devices were carried aboard; that appropriate baggage security measures were in place; and that they were in compliance with the FARs in dealing with bomb threats and threats of hijacking. In addition, each foreign carrier was to provide the FAA Administrator upon his request information on the status of its screening program.
In addition, as of August 23, 1976, the FAA also required foreign carriers: to deny boarding to passengers refusing to permit their persons or property to be screened for weapons; ensure that their x-ray equipment in use at U.S. airports met minimum U.S. safety and effectiveness standards; and provided that the prohibition against carrying weapons aboard a foreign aircraft would not apply if the weapons, after inspection by the carrier, were in checked baggage and inaccessible to the passenger.
19760321: Spring, 1976: FAA installed a prototype wake vortex advisory system (VAS) at Chicago O’Hare airport (see November 1, 1975). The prototype‚Äôs computer was designed to analyze wind measurements collected in the runway area in order to predict aircraft wake turbulence, or give assurance of its absence. This would making it possible for controllers to safely reduce the separation distances between landing aircraft and thereby expand airport capacity. FAA subsequently removed the VAS, however, concluding that it did not provide sufficient data for the purpose. (See December 18, 1992.)
19970321: FAA announced that, with 33 of 39 commuter air carriers now in compliance, the aviation industry had successfully implemented the commuter rule. Adopted by the government in December 1995, this rule required airlines operating aircraft with 10 to 30 seats to meet the same, or equivalent, safety standards as the major airlines. (See December 14, 1995.)
20020321: The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 was the airplane’s departure from normal cruise flight and subsequent impact with the Atlantic Ocean as a result of the relief first officer’s flight control inputs. EgyptAir Flight 990, a Boeing 767-366ER, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts on October 31, 1999. The scheduled flight was being operated from John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, to Cairo International Airport, Cairo, Egypt. The 14 crewmembers and 203 passengers were killed and the airplane destroyed. Because the crash occurred in international waters, the Egyptian government had responsibility for the investigation under the provisions of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. However, the Egyptian government delegated the conduct of the investigation to the NTSB under the provisions of Annex 13. (See October 31, 1999.)
20110321: Effective this date, FAA prohibited flight operations with the Tripoli Flight Information Region by all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons operated a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators were foreign air carriers. FAA issued this regulation because the ongoing armed conflict in Libya and presented a potential hazard to civil aviation.
20140321: FAA extended the expiration date of the prohibition of flight operations within the Tripoli Flight Information Region (FIR) by all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; and persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by FAA, except when such persons operated a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier. FAA believed the extension of the expiration date to March 21, 2015, necessary to prevent a potential hazard to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight operations. (See March 20, 2015.)
20140321: FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced he had selected acting ATO COO Teri Bristol as the new ATO COO. Prior to this appointment she had served as deputy COO; vice president for technical operation services; vice president for the service center; director of terminal mission support; director of terminal operations for the western service area; and the director of terminal program operations. (See August 13, 2013.)
20140321: FAA and the Experimental Aircraft Association announced an agreement for the next nine years under which FAA would provide, as it had in past years, air traffic control and other personnel for AirVenture, with the EAA covering the cost of travel, accommodations, and other expenses for air traffic control personnel.
20200321: FAA suspended all departures to Kennedy, LaGuardia, Newark, and because of coronavirus-related staffing issues at a regional air-traffic control center. The agency lifted the restriction after about 30 minutes.
20210321: FAA issued a final rule that streamlined and modernized its commercial space launch and reentry licensing regulations by eliminating obsolete requirements, replacing most prescriptive requirements with performance-based criteria, and reducing duplicative regulations. It also established a single set of licensing and safety regulations for several types of commercial space operations and vehicles. (See October 15, 2020.)