This Day in FAA History: May 7th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19370507: The first flight by a fully pressurized airplane, the Lockheed XC-35, occurred. The Army used the plane, a modified Electra, to test equipment and material for use in high altitude operations. A few aircraft prior to the XC-35 had been fitted with experimental pressure cabins, but none of the earlier models flew successfully.
19640507: A passenger shot the captain and first officer of a Pacific Air Lines Fokker F-27 en route from Reno, Nev., to San Francisco, Calif. The aircraft crashed near San Ramon, Calif., killing all 44 occupants. (See August 6, 1964.)
19750507: FAA and PATCO reached agreement on a two-year contract (signed and effective July 8). The contract’s 74 articles included a guarantee of controller inclusion in the Aviation Safety Reporting Program (see April 8, 1975) and affected such matters as an expansion of familiarization flight privileges (see August 14, 1974), working conditions, and career enhancement. (See March 17, 1973, and July 28-31, 1976.)
19770507: The pilots of Wien Air Alaska went on strike when the company determined to reduce its Boeing 737 cockpit crew to two pilots (see November 23, 1971). The strike lasted 21 months, but Wien maintained partial operations by hiring nonunion pilots. On November 2, 1978, President Carter created a Presidential Emergency Board to help settle the dispute. Three months later, on February 9, 1979, the board reported that both parties had agreed to accept a two-man crew for 737 operations. This settlement left only United and Western among U.S. airlines with a three-man crew for the 737. (See February 21, 1976 and March 27, 1980.)
19960507: DOT announced that about 80 percent of non-stop scheduled U.S. airline flights between the United States and foreign countries would be free of smoking as of June 1, when certain air carriers would implement smoking curbs. During the previous year, DOT had granted anti-trust immunity permitting airlines to discuss smoking bans. Other U.S. steps against smoking on international flights had included a 1994 agreement with Canada and Australia to ban the practice on flights between the three nations. (See February 25, 1990.)
20010507: FAA issued a rule that required airplane manufacturers and operators to change how airplane fuel tanks were designed, maintained and operated. The rule included a special federal aviation regulation (SFAR) to minimize the potential for failures that could cause ignition sources in fuel tanks on new and existing airplanes. It also included a regulation that, for the first time, mandated airplane design changes to minimize the flammability of fuel tanks on new airplanes. Manufacturers had 18 months from June 6, the effective date of the rule, to conduct the safety reviews and develop required maintenance and inspection programs. Operators had 36 months from June 6 to incorporate a FAA-approved maintenance and inspection program into their operating procedures. (See April 27, 2001; June 6, 2001.)
20080507: The Department of Transportation issued a new rule giving people with disabilities additional protections against discrimination when they traveled by air. The rule strengthened the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) of 1990 and extended it to foreign airlines operating a flight that began or ended in the United States. It applied to U.S. air carrier operations worldwide. The new rule also made it easier for passengers to use medical oxygen during flights by requiring airlines to allow the use in the passenger cabin of portable oxygen concentrators that met applicable safety, security, and hazardous materials requirements for safe use aboard aircraft. The Department sought public comment through a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) about whether airlines should be required to provide medical oxygen to passengers upon request. The SNPRM also addressed subjects such as accessibility of airline web sites, automated ticketing kiosks, and in flight entertainment systems. The rule provided greater accommodations for passengers with hearing impairments by requiring airlines to include easy-to-read captions for the hearing-impaired in its safety and informational videos. In addition, airlines had to provide the same information to hearing- and vision-impaired passengers that it provided to other passengers in airport terminals or on the aircraft – such as information on boarding, flight delays, schedule changes, weather conditions at the flight’s destination, connecting gate assignments, checking and claiming of baggage, and emergencies. The rule did not specify how carriers should make this information available to passengers who are deaf or hard of hearing. The new rule would be effective in one year to give carriers enough time to implement its provisions.