This Day in FAA History: May 22nd

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19320522: Amelia Earhart became the first woman to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic by airplane, flying from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in a Lockheed Vega.
19620522: An explosion blew the tail off a Continental Air Lines 707 flying over southern Iowa, killing all 45 persons aboard. Officials later cited the probable cause as a dynamite detonation in a rear lavatory. On June 5, a government/industry steering committee headed by FAA Administrator Halaby convened to review efforts to combat the aircraft bombing hazard.
19690522: Administrator Shaffer requested plans for consolidating regional and area offices located in the same city within the contiguous United States. The move offered operating economies and the saving of numerous positions that could be used to fill critical “firing line” position shortages. FAA implemented the consolidations during late summer 1969, and completed the transfer of functions and personnel to the appropriate regional divisions on September 8. The agency eliminated the area officers in Atlanta, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and New York as they gave up their functions and resources to the regional headquarters located in the same city. (See November 22, 1968 and April 2, 1971.)
19910522: FAA issued a rule under which the agency could authorize airports to impose Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs) to finance airport-related projects, in accordance with the Aviation Safety and Capacity Expansion Act (see November 5, 1990). Airlines would be compensated for the service of collecting the fees from passengers departing and making connections. On January 31, 1992, FAA announced its first PFC program approval, which authorized Savannah (Ga.) International Airport to begin collecting a $3 fee on July 1.
19970522: FAA issued its second privately-operated spaceport license to Spaceport Florida for the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. (See March 19, 1997; December 19, 1997.)
19990522: FAA ordered inspections on more than 1,000 Boeing 727 jetliners registered in the United States. A FAA spokesman said that the emergency airworthiness directive was sent after mechanics found severe wear on wires and holes in the tubing on two 727 cargo jets. Signs of electric sparking around the wires also were discovered. “This condition, if not corrected, could result in ignition of fuel vapors in a fuel tank, and a fuel tank explosion,” read the FAA’s telegram to 727 operators. May 24, FAA ordered operators of Boeing 727 aircraft to inspect, and if necessary replace, electrical wires running through fuel tanks. The agency previously announced it would follow its May 22 order for Boeing 727 fuel tank leak checks with a more comprehensive order for wiring inspections. The airworthiness directive required that operators remove and inspect wire bundles carried in conduits (tubes) through 727 fuel tanks. If chafing were found, the wires had to be replaced. The AD also required that all the wires be wrapped with an additional protective layer of Teflon. This had to be done immediately if the Teflon wrapping was available, otherwise at the next scheduled maintenance check. (See August 16, 2001.)
20120522: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched and, on May 25, became the first U.S. commercial space rocket to dock at the International Space Station. The SpaceX mission, considered to be the first test of NASA’s plan to outsource space missions to privately funded companies, was designed to prove to NASA the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule could successfully haul cargo, and eventually astronauts, for the space agency. The Dragon capsule returned to earth on May 31. (See November 22, 2010; September 16, 2014.)
20130522: The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a confirmation hearing for Anthony Foxx to become the next Secretary of Transportation. At the hearings, Representative John Thune (R-SD) placed a hold on the nomination until DOT and FAA answered the questions posed in letters he sent earlier in the year asking for information on budgets, budget cuts, and related decisionmaking processes. After Thune lifted his hold, the Committee approved the nomination on June 10. (See April 29, 2013; June 27, 2013.)
20200522: Pakistan International Airlines Flight 8303, an Airbus A320, crashed in Model Colony, a densely populated residential area of Karachi not far from the runway, while on a second final approach to Jinnah International Airport. There were 91 passengers and eight crew on board the aircraft. Ninety-seven of them died, while two passengers survived with injuries. Eight people on the ground were also injured. A preliminary investigation report, published by Pakistan’s civil aviation authority, reported the plane’s engines had scraped the runway three times on the pilot’s first attempt to land, causing friction and sparks. The contacts with the runway may have caused possible damage to the engines’ oil tank and fuel pump. (See July 1, 2020.)
20210522: The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo flight from SpacePort America in New Mexico marked the 400th FAA licensed commercial space launch. The first space launch occurred in 1989 at Whites Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. (See December 13, 2018; July 11, 2021.)
20230522: FAA announced it had awarded more than $100 million to 12 airports nationwide to reduce runway incursions. Planned projects included reconfiguring taxiways that may cause confusion, installing airfield lighting, or constructing new taxiways to provide more flexibility on the airfield. The agency developed its Runway Incursion Mitigation Program to identify airports with risk factors that might contribute to runway incursions.