This Day in FAA History: May 17th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19280517: Another amendment to the Air Mail Act of 1925 (see June 3, 1926) provided that air carriers that had operated satisfactorily on mail routes for two years could exchange their contracts for “air mail route certificates” for a period not to exceed 10 years. The amendment protected the investment of the airlines in the equipment necessary for carrying out their original contracts since the life of that equipment was considerably longer than the life of those contracts. At this time, mail contracts provided virtually the only profitable form of airline operation. (See April 29, 1930.)
19850517: United Airlines pilots went on strike over the company’s plan for a two-tiered pay structure with lower pay for new pilots. The union and management soon reached an economic agreement that permitted such a two-tier system, but back-to-work issues delayed settlement until June 14. During the strike, FAA increased safety surveillance of United operations, and used electronic equipment to help identify those harassing non-striking pilots with illegal radio transmissions on air traffic control frequencies.
19870517: FAA began using the Aircraft Situation Display (ASD) at its Central Flow Control Facility at Washington Headquarters. ASD provided traffic managers with a near real-time visual display of en route aircraft operating under instrument flight rules nationally, regionally, or to a specific airport terminal area. The information was provided by more than 100 long-range radars across the country. On July 25, 1988, FAA announced the addition of Monitor Alert to ASD. Monitor Alert was a computer system designed to analyze flight plans and project when and where airspace congestion was likely. By May 1994, FAA had installed ASD at 41 en route and terminal facilities. (See December 31, 1983, and November 15, 1990.)
19880517: Voters in Colorado approved a measure that allowed the city of Denver to annex land for a new airport, which would occupy 45 square miles. One year later, on May 16, 1989, the voters approved a referendum authorizing construction of the facility, which would be the country’s first new major airport since Dallas-Fort Worth opened in 1974. FAA approved a $60 million grant for construction on September 27, 1989, and site preparation began the following day. Construction officially started on November 22, 1989. FAA announced it had approved an additional grant of $90 million on March 27, 1990, and on April 29, 1992, approved the collection of passenger facility charges at Stapleton International Airport to help finance construction of the new facility. The airport was originally scheduled to open in October 1993, but encountered a series of delays due to difficulties that included problems with the baggage handling system. (See February 28, 1995.)
19970517: As part of the aircraft hardening program, FAA and British aviation authorities set off four simultaneous explosions in the cargo hold of an old Boeing 747 at Leicester, England. (See May 6, 1997; May 4, 1998.)
20100517: FAA ruled that the 130 offshore turbines planned for Nantucket Sound posed no threat to aircraft, provided they were properly marked and lighted. The 400-foot turbines would occupy a 25-mile stretch off Cape Cod. The decision came a month after U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar gave his approval.