This Day in FAA History: April 22nd

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19570422: CAA commissioned the Spokane air route traffic control center.
19700422: The first annual Earth Day observance throughout the United States included protests indicating environmentalists’ rising opposition to the supersonic transport (SST) program. Concerns about the SST included such issues as sonic booms (see January 27, 1965) and the aircraft’s effect on the ozone layer of the earth’s upper atmosphere. (See April 6 and December 30, 1970.)
19810422: J. Lynn Helms became the eighth FAA Administrator, succeeding Langhorne M. Bond (see May 4, 1977). President Reagan had made the nomination on March 3, and the Senate confirmed it on April 8.
Born in 1925 in DeQueen, Ark., Helms attended the University of Oklahoma. He received his flight training as part of the U.S. Navy’s V-5 program during World War II, then entered the Marine Corps to serve as both a test pilot and instructor pilot. After leaving the Marine Corps with the rank of Lt. Colonel in 1956, he went to work as a design engineer for North American Aviation. In 1963, he joined the Bendix Corp., eventually becoming vice president, then accepted the presidency of the Norden Division of United Aircraft in 1970. He joined Piper Aircraft Corp. in 1974, serving as president, chairman, and chief executive officer before retiring from the company in 1980. Helms was an active pilot holding a commercial pilot’s certificate. His honors included selection as General Aviation Man of the Year for 1978, and he had been chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association in 1979. Helms served as FAA Administrator for two years and nine months. (See December 23, 1983.)
19820422: Tighter rules for aircraft entering the south Florida area through off-shore Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZs) became effective. Previously, aircraft flying at less than 180 knots had not been required to file flight plans and make regular position reports in any ADIZ off the coast of the continental U.S. Now all aircraft entering an ADIZ south of the 30th parallel and east of the 86th meridian had to comply with these requirements, regardless of their airspeed. In addition, FAA now required pilots flying into any ADIZ to report if their aircraft carried a transponder–and if so, what kind. The agency mandated changes in response to increased flights by drug smugglers. (See September 1, 1987.)
19920422: FAA announced expansion of the Terminal Area VFR Routes program which charted special routes to help pilots using Visual Flight Rules in avoiding controlled airspace. The concept, which had been evaluated in the Los Angeles area in 1988-89, would be applied at eight other locations.
19970422: FAA published a proposal to accept applications, beginning December 1, for participation in an airport privatization pilot program established by the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-264).
20130422: Eight months after becoming the first U.S. airline to obtain FAA approval to use Apple iPads on the flight deck during all phases of flight, American Airlines completed its rollout of the off-the-shelf electronic flight bags across its entire mainline fleet. Pilots of the carrier’s Boeing 757s and 767s completed a 30-day transition with the iPads as primary flight support and paper charts as backup. American first tested the iPad on a Boeing 777 in January 2011. (See March 14, 2011; June 26, 2013.)
20200422: FAA announced it planned to temporarily adjust the operating hours of approximately 100 control towers nationwide as a result of a significant reduction in flights because of the pandemic.
20210422: FAA implemented the first phase of the South-Central Florida Metroplex when it published 54 new air traffic procedures. Metroplex procedures allowed more direct flights and more efficient climb and descent profiles. Seventeen of the procedures required additional training of air traffic controllers and automation upgrades at air traffic control facilities before they could be implemented. (See February 25, 2021; August 12, 2021.)
20220422: FAA and U.S. airports launched an Airport Climate Challenge to help achieve a goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. FAA offered several funding programs to meet the goal, including grants for low- or zero-emissions vehicles, renewable energy production, energy assessments, and other efforts. Airports could receive funding through the Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Program, Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Program, and the Airport Sustainability Planning Program. The agency also announced plans to develop a tool for airports to voluntarily estimate, track, and report on the emissions reduction achieved when implementing projects supported by the airport programs. (See February 23, 2022; June 15, 2022.)