This Day in FAA History: May 31st

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19460531: CAA announced that production certificates would be handled by the regional offices rather than from Washington to speed issuance to aircraft manufacturers.
19490531: Earl F. Ward died at age 56. An American Airlines executive, Ward organized the nation’s first air traffic control center (see December 1, 1935). In March 1936, he joined the Commerce Department as Supervisor, Airway Traffic Control, and during the next year became head of the new Airways Operations Division. Ward played an important part in conceiving and organizing the early en route traffic control system. At the time of his death, he was assisting in aviation planning in Chicago on behalf of the Civil Aeronautics Administration.
19510531: Roosevelt Field, on Long Island, N.Y., closed. The facility had opened 40 years previously and had subsequently been named for Quentin Roosevelt, a son of Theodore Roosevelt killed in World War I. Lindbergh took off from this field in 1927 for his epochal flight to Paris, and other famous aviators who used it included Richard E. Byrd, Clarence Chamberlin, and Amelia Earhart. The 250-acre site eventually became the home of the Roosevelt Shopping Center.
19520531: J. B. “Doc” Hartranft, Jr., was named president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). He had served as general manager of the organization since its founding in 1939, and succeeded the original president, C. Townsend Ludington. With AOPA vice president Max Karant, Hartranft would become a vigorous advocate in behalf of general aviation in the face of growing airspace demands from commercial and military aviation. After Hartranft’s retirement in May 1977, John L. Baker became AOPA president, and was in turn succeeded by Phil Boyer in 1991.
19570531: Using CAA and USAF aircraft, CAA conducted a service test of VOL-SCAN (a computer for automatic scheduling of aircraft approaching for landing) to evaluate the possible application of such military tactical equipment to air traffic control use in the common system.
19590531: In keeping with its mandate to develop a common civil-military airspace system (see August 23, 1958), FAA initiated “Project Friendship.” Consultations were begun with the Defense Department to determine which military functions pertaining to air navigation and air traffic control — both domestic and overseas — should be transferred to FAA and when the transfers should be made. (See October 7, 1959.)
19650531: Findings of Project Taper (turbulent air pilot environmental research), a joint FAA-NASA research effort, showed flight through turbulent air required improved instrumentation and pilot capabilities for longitudinal control, trimming, and control of oscillation. These findings were based on data collected by instrumented FAA jet aircraft flying through areas of known turbulence.
19790531: A Fokker Company workman discovered a soft spot in aluminum plate manufactured by Reynolds Metals, leading FAA in August to issue a general notice establishing an inspection program to be conducted by FAA-approved production holders and their suppliers. FAA discontinued the program after Reynolds discovered the cause of the problem in early fiscal 1981.
19850531: FAA announced new criteria on extended range (ER) flights. Previously, FAA had generally prohibited a two-engine aircraft from flying a route that at any point was more than one hour flying time (in still air at normal cruising speed with one engine inoperative) from a usable airport. Under the new criteria, the diversion time was increased to two hours, provided that at least half of each extended-range route segment was less than 90 minutes of one-engine flying time from an airport. The change meant that some two-engine aircraft would be able to fly North Atlantic routes without veering far to the north.
As experience with extended two-engine operations increased, FAA further increased permitted diversion times. In 1989, the agency approved a three-hour diversion time, long enough to permit two-engine operations between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland.
20000531: FAA announced the start of operational use of a new tool designed to help reduce delays at major airports in the northeastern part of the U.S. Installation of the departure spacing program (DSP). Achieving this start-up was one of the first milestones in the Spring 2000 initiative, announced in March by President Clinton and Department of Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater. A coordination and planning tool, DSP used pertinent air traffic information from airports equipped with the system, along with other information from filed flight plans, to space departing aircraft more evenly. This innovation allowed the best use of existing capacity, expediting the flow of air traffic while minimizing delays. The tool had been in use at LaGuardia, Kennedy, Newark, and Philadelphia airport towers and in TRACONS in the New York area since April 2000.
20020531: The Fort Worth Air Traffic Control Center became the first facility to go operational with the Weather and Radar Processor (WARP) on the controller displays. WARP displayed Terminal Doppler Weather Radar information directly to controllers on the same screen as aircraft position data, thus helping controllers to reroute air traffic to avoid areas of severe weather. FAA planned to install WARP at the other en route centers during June and July and have the system operational at all the center sites by the end of October. (See March 2002; January 23, 2003.)
20040531: FAA released a screening information request (SIR) for the Automated Flight Service Station public-private competition under OMB’s A-76 recommendations to improve government efficiency and cost savings through commercialization of certain government operations. Per the announcement, potential service providers would be required to submit technical proposals in August 2004 and cost proposals in September 2004. The agency planned to award the contract by March 17, 2005. (See February 1, 2005.)
20050531: The Supreme Court declined to hear a case brought by a group of pilots against FAA. In Dallas E. Butler et al., Petitioners v. FAA, 12 Southwest pilots challenged a FAA rule dating to 1960 that grounded Part 121 airline pilots at age 60, arguing that FAA should consider the health and skills of each pilot.
20100531: FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation approved a simulator — the only one of its kind — developed by NASTAR that could replicate the G-forces of launch and descent. FAA required crews planning to fly sub-orbital missions to demonstrate an ability to withstand the stresses of spaceflight. (See December 15, 2009; July 1, 2010.)
20100531: FAA announced that Atlantic City International Airport would be the first in the national airspace system to deliver digital NOTAMS. The notices had long been posted in difficult-to-read shorthand designed for delivery over teletype machines. The digital versions would be easier to read, more accurate, and would be disseminated quicker.
20130531: FAA issued an updated version of its 10-year old advisory circular on wildlife collisions, AC 150/5200-32B. The update explained a number of recent improvements to the agency’s wildlife strike reporting system.
20190531: FAA announced a collaborative effort with the Air Force to counter the national aircrew shortage. Through this effort, the FAA and Air Force agreed to explore options and establish goals to address aviation workforce issues, with a particular focus on cross-agency collaboration. The work of this collaboration will identify and support solutions based in the following areas
* Priming the pipeline: What can be done to attract new people to critical aviation professions?
* Pathways to proficiency: How can efficiency in training be maximized?
* Productive partnerships: How can we promote productive partnerships with government, Department of Defense, academia and industry?
20200531: The waiver of the slot usage requirement, applied to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Additionally, at four other U.S. airports where the agency has a formal schedule review and approval process – Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – FAA gave credit to airlines for flights that were canceled due to the Coronavirus through May 31, 2020. FAA later extended the waiver through October 24. On September 15, FAA proposed to extend through March 27, 2021, the COVID-19-related limited waiver of the minimum slot usage requirement at JFK, LGA, and DCA. The FAA also proposed to extend, through December 31, 2020, its COVID-19-related policy for prioritizing flights canceled at designated International Air Transport Association (IATA) Level 2 airports in the United States. These IATA Level 2 airports include ORD, EWR, LAX, SFO. On October 2, FAA extended the slot waiver and the policy for prioritizing flights through March 27, 2021.