This Day in FAA History: April 24th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19460424: Winged Cargo, Inc. began the first glider commercial freight service, using a DC-3 to tow a Waco glider. The flight took off from Philadelphia and made stops at Miami, Havana, and San Juan.
19630424: President Kennedy approved a new statement of U.S. international air transport policy based on a report submitted earlier by an Interagency Steering Committee, chaired by the FAA Administrator (see September 15, 1961). A change in emphasis rather than in fundamental approach, the new statement stressed the necessity for keeping the environment of the international air transport industry as free as possible from restrictions, whether imposed by government or intercarrier agreement. U.S. policy was to seek an atmosphere of free enterprise that would benefit U.S. international air carriers and strengthen the entire system generally. As a follow-up action, the President, on June 22, 1963, directed the Secretary of State to organize an Interagency Committee on International Aviation Policy. The new body was to assist in the continuing task of developing and updating this and related U.S. policies. Chaired by the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and with the FAA Administrator as vice chairman, the committee consisted essentially of membership representing the same agencies as those of the Interagency Group on International Aviation (see August 11, 1960), which continued to handle technical matters affecting international aviation.
19640424: The deliberate wrecking of a Douglas DC-7 near Phoenix, Ariz., began a testing program in which FAA and the Flight Safety Foundation attacked the problem of preventing postcrash fatalities. FAA crashed a Lockheed 1649 Constellation at the same site in September 1964. These experiments reflected a growing realization that fatalities in takeoff or landing accidents could be reduced if passengers were prevented from colliding with the aircraft’s interior structure or furnishings and protected from postcrash fire and smoke. The test aircraft crashed through manmade barriers and then into a rocky slope, carrying dummy passengers, cameras, and instruments for recording impact forces, G-forces, hydrostatic pressures, and other stresses. The tests provided valuable data on such matters as fuel spillage, safety characteristics of rear-, forward-, and side-facing passenger seats, and the efficacy of passenger-restraining devices. Beginning in April 1965, FAA used the wrecked Constellation’s fuselage for emergency evacuation tests. (See June 7, 1965, and September 20, 1967.)
19660424: Scheduled air carrier jet operations began at Washington National Airport (see January 11, 1966). FAA limited air carrier jet use of the airport to two- and three-engine aircraft with short- and medium-range. A further limitation–agreed to voluntarily by the twelve certificated route air carriers serving National and approved by the Civil Aeronautics Board–required the first stop for these air carrier jet flights to be within a radius of 650 miles from Washington, D.C., except that nonstop service in effect on December 1, 1965, to eight specified cities outside that radius could continue. These eight cities, all within 1,000 miles, were Memphis, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach, and Hamilton, Bermuda. (Flights to and from Hamilton were later forced to operate out of Dulles International.) The 650-mile radius agreement expired on January 1, 1967; however, all parties to the original agreement continued to adhere to its provisions, thus fixing National’s role as that of a short-haul airport. The introduction of jet air carrier service at this airport required special arrival and departure procedures, based on the Potomac River as the natural flyway for reducing noise disturbances. In addition, a curfew on jet operations was imposed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. (See September 1, 1966 and March 23, 1978.)
19970424: FAA unveiled its inflight aircraft icing plan, based on recommendations from international experts. The plan was the final phase of a three-phase program that FAA had announced in 1994. (See October 31, 1994.)
20130424: FAA announced due to employee furloughs as a result of sequestration, on April 23 the furlough caused more than 1,025 delays in the system. Weather and other delays caused more than 975 additional delays. The following day, FAA announced on April 25, furlough-related staffing reductions at the New York, Washington, Cleveland, Jacksonville, and Los Angeles ARTCCs, the Potomac, Dallas and Southern California TRACONs, and Detroit tower contributed to more than 863 delays, and weather and other factors caused more than 1,269 additional delays. (See April 23, 2013; April 27, 2013.)
20140424: FAA issued a Federal Register notice seeking public comment on a proposed policy change to protect airspace for emergency operations when an aircraft engine failed during departure. Aircraft operators had to plan for the potential of an engine failure (one engine inoperative, or OEI) during take-off in accordance with 14 CFR Parts 25, 121, and 135. An engine failure could prevent the aircraft from climbing at the normal climb rate and structures near an airport could, under such circumstances, create a safety risk. The agency evaluated certain airport clear zones assuming both engines were operating. The proposal wanted to consider a common departure path for all aircraft in the event of a power failure. The 60-day comment period on the new policy closed on June 24, 2014.
20170424: Transportation Secretary Chao announced FAA had accepted the City of St. Louis’s preliminary application for St. Louis Lambert International Airport to participate in the agency’s Airport Privatization Pilot Program. Lambert was the second medium hub airport to join the program. On February 25, 2013, Luís Muñoz Marín Airport in Puerto Rico was the first medium hub airport to join the program. (See April 22, 1997.)
20200424: Boeing announced a planned merger with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer had been cancelled. The $4.2 billion merger, first announced in 2018, would have given Boeing an 80 percent controlling stake in Embraer.