This Day in FAA History: April 16th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19380416: Denis Mulligan became Director of Air Commerce, succeeding Fred D. Fagg, Jr. (see February 28, 1937), who had resigned the previous day. Mulligan brought to this position broad experience in aviation, business, and law. A 1924 graduate of West Point, he qualified as an Army Air Corps pilot and observer. After resigning from the Army, he was active in insurance work, commercial aviation, and admiralty law. He joined the Bureau of Air Commerce in 1934 as chief of the Enforcement Section, became Chief of the Regulations and Enforcement Division, and in October 1937 became the Bureau’s Assistant Director. Mulligan resigned as the last Director of the Bureau on August 21, 1938, the day before the Civil Aeronautics Act became operative. (See July 7, 1938.)
19620416: The new FAA Internal Directives System became effective. It substituted a single, uniform, agencywide system in place of the previous diversity of directive types, formats, and numbering schemes.
19910416: FAA announced that educators could now obtain information on the agency’s aviation education programs by using any modem-equipped personal computer to access the Federal Education Information Exchange System (FEDIX).
19920416: At Manassas, Va., FAA dedicated its first “recycled” tower. The 60-foot structure had been moved from Englewood, Colo., where it was no longer being used.
19980416: RTCA’s Free Flight Steering Committee recommended that, through a core capability limited deployment process to be undertaken through 2002, FAA should adopt its proposed free flight program to implement six technologies at selected air route air traffic control centers. The technologies included: Traffic Management Advisory (TMA), Passive Final Approach Space Tool (pFAST), User Request Evaluation Tool (URET), Collaborative Decision Making (CDM), Controller-Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC), and Surface Movement Advisor (SMA). (See January 15, 1997; September 30, 1999; February 4, 2000; March 30, 2000.)
20080416: The Department of Transportation finalized changes to its so-called bumping rule, which doubled the limit on compensation airlines had to pay passengers involuntarily bumped from their flight. Under the new rule, fliers who were involuntarily bumped would receive up to $400 if rescheduled to reach their destination within two hours of their original arrival time or four hours for international flights, and up to $800 if they were not rerouted within that timeframe. The new rule covered flights operated with aircraft seating 30 people or more; the previous rule covered flights with 60 seats or more. In addition, Secretary Peters announced new air traffic measures designed to help cut summer delays. The first involved new and greater flexibility for aircraft to use alternative routes in the sky to avoid severe weather. FAA would also open a second westbound route for aircraft, akin to adding another interstate highway lane in the sky. Peters said improving the passenger experience was central to the Department’s efforts and that she wanted to hear directly from travelers about how they were affected by problems in the air travel industry. She launched a series of Aviation Consumer Forums to hear from consumers and help educate air travelers about their rights and responsibilities. The first Department-hosted forum was scheduled for April 17 in Miami, to be followed by public meetings in Chicago and San Francisco.
20080416: Under a supplemental rulemaking, the Department of Transportation proposed two market-based options to ease congestions at New York’s LaGuardia Airport that would require a limited number of flights operated by the airlines in a given day, known as slots, to be made available through an auction process. Under the first option, all air carriers would be given up to 20 slots a day for the 10 year life of the rule. Meanwhile, over the next five years, 8 percent of the additional slots currently used by an airline would be made available to any carrier via an auction. An additional 2 percent of the slots would be retired to help cut the record delays at the airport. Proceeds from the auction would be invested in new congestion reduction and capacity improvement initiatives in the New York region. The second option also gave airlines permanent access to up to 20 slots a day for a 10 year period. Beyond those flights, 20 percent of the slots currently used by the airlines would be made available over the next five years to all airlines through an auction. Under this option, the carriers would retain the net proceeds of the auction. (See March 10, 2008; May 18, 2008.)
20200416: Because the COVID-19 public health emergency affected airport sponsors’ operations and ability to meet the original 2020 Airport Improvement Program (AIP) deadlines, FAA extended those deadlines to May 4, 2020, to give notice of intent, and to June 15, 2020, to submit the final grant application.