This Day in FAA History: June 7th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19350607: In recommending extension of the Emergency Railroad Transportation Act to Congress, President Roosevelt repeated his views on the regulation of aviation (see January 22, 1935). “Air transportation,” he wrote, “should be brought into a proper relation to other forms of transportation by subjecting it to regulation by the same agency.” He said it was his hope “that the Interstate Commerce Commission may, with the addition of the new duties that I have indicated, ultimately become a Federal Transportation Commission with comprehensive powers.” This reorganization, he believed, should not be delayed beyond the second session of the 74th Congress, or 1936. On June 10, in an effort to carry out President Roosevelt’s wishes, Senator Pat McCarran (D-Nev.) introduced a new bill to replace the one he had introduced on January 21. The revised proposal placed all regulatory authority in the Interstate Commerce Commission. During hearings, considerable interdepartmental differences of opinion came to light, particularly between the Commerce and Post Office Departments and the Interstate Commerce Commission. After being rewritten, the bill was reported out of committee, but failed to reach a vote on the floor of the Senate and died with the adjournment of the 74th Congress in 1936.
19380607: The Boeing 314 first flew. On January 25, 1939, the Civil Aeronautics Authority type-certificated the aircraft, and the airliner entered service with Pan American Airways on May 20, 1939. Made to the specification of Pan American for transoceanic travel, the four-engine flying boat had a gross empty weight of 50,286 pounds and a maximum carrying capacity of 74 passengers and 10 crew members. In 1939, the 314 became the largest production airplane in regular scheduled service in the world.
To perform the quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial functions of safety and economic regulation, the law created a five-member entity designated the Civil Aeronautics Authority, the same term used to describe the agency as a whole. The law also established an Administrator of the Authority, who was independent of the five-member Authority and had responsibility for the executive and operational functions of the agency. Finally, an Air Safety Board of three members operated independently within the agency and had quasi-judicial powers for investigating accidents, determining their probable cause, and making recommendations for accident prevention.
The President appointed all nine of these officials with the concurrence of the Senate. The Administrator, as the agent of the presidential power, could be removed by the President at will, the others only for cause.
As assigned to the five-member Authority, safety regulation functions were essentially those previously performed by the Bureau of Air Commerce, but revised and enlarged. Economic regulation was made much more comprehensive and thorough than that authorized by the Air Mail Act of 1934 (see June 12, 1934). The Authority was given regulatory powers applying to: air mail rates; airline rates, fares, and routes; and the business practices of airlines–the last involving inspection or regulation of such matters as accounts, records, consolidations, mergers, or other forms of control, and methods of competition. Interstate air carriers were required to obtain from the Authority a certificate of public convenience and necessity permitting them to operate over specified routes.
The Administrator’s functions under the law were the encouragement of civil aeronautics and commerce, establishment of civil airways, provision and technical improvement of air navigation facilities, and the protection and regulation of air traffic along the airways. Airports were not excluded from the facilities that the Administrator could establish and maintain, as they had been under the Air Commerce Act; however, the Administrator was prohibited from acquiring any airport by purchase or condemnation. The law directed the Administrator to make a field survey of the existing system of airports and to present definite recommendations by February 1, 1939, on whether and how the Federal government should participate in the development, operation, or maintenance of a national system of airports. (See September 14, 1938.)
19600607: A wildcat strike broke out at Eastern Air Lines when an FAA safety inspector boarded an Eastern DC-8 flight and took the forward observer’s seat from the third pilot. The Air Line Pilots Association had previously protested this practice as a threat to safety. FAA, however, maintained that the Douglas DC-8 and Boeing 707 had been certificated for air carrier operations with a crew of two pilots and a flight engineer and that the third pilot was superfluous. The agency immediately promulgated a regulation requiring the third pilot to give up the forward observer’s seat to an FAA inspector. Meanwhile, the strike spread to Pan American but ended on June 21 following an injunction. (See July 21, 1958 and February 7, 1961.)
19610607: FAA signed a contract with the Flight Safety Foundation for a survey of near-collisions in the air during a one-year period, including compilation of statistical data, analysis, and recommendations. The resulting Project Scan began on July l. To ensure a free flow of information, the Foundation protected the identity of those reporting the near misses. A final report released on August 31, 1962, analyzed more than 2,500 of the incidents. It recommended an educational program for pilots, improvements in equipment and procedures, and continued collection of anonymous reports “to provide a broad background of information on the near mid-air collision hazard.” (See January 1, 1968.)
19650607: New rules governing the rapid evacuation of passengers from aircraft became effective this date. The new regulations required all carriers and commercial operators using aircraft with a seating capacity of more than 44 passengers to demonstrate, among other things, the ability under simulated emergency conditions to evacuate a full passenger load through only half of the airplane’s exits within two minutes. Operators were required to assign each crewmember specific emergency evacuation duties. The minimum number of flight attendants on an aircraft was raised according the following formula: one attendant for planes with 10-44 passenger seats; two for 45-99; three for 100-149; and four for more than 149 (see June 15, 1972). Operators were also required to brief passengers on the location of emergency exits and provide them with cards showing their operation. The new regulations also set emergency equipment requirements. Aircraft were required to be equipped by July 1, 1966, with battery-powered megaphones, increased emergency lighting capacity, larger emergency-exit signs, and ropes or approved equivalent devices at overwing exits. (See September 20, 1967.)
19650607: FAA announced progress in the use of chemicals to remove snow, ice, and slush on runways. The agency found that a mixture of 75 percent tripotassium phosphate and 25 percent formamide was best for use at temperatures as low as -10 degrees.
19730607: A rule published this date and effective July 6 required air carriers and air taxi operators to establish training programs for personnel having responsibilities for the safe carriage and handling of hazardous cargo. After December 6, only personnel who had completed this training would be allowed to perform such duties. The regulation also required that the pilot in command be notified in writing by the operator of the presence of hazardous cargo aboard an aircraft. FAA issued the rule against a background of growing public and congressional concern about transport of hazardous materials by air. The dangerous potential of “hazmat” was confirmed when a Pan American 707 freighter crashed on November 3 at Boston with the loss of all three persons aboard. Smoke, probably caused by leaking acid, had almost blinded the crew and prevented them from coordinating their actions during the landing. (See January 3, 1975.)
19730607: To fulfill a near term requirement for an approach guidance system for airports, FAA announced that it had decided to proceed with the selection of an interim standard microwave landing system (ISMLS), pending completion and implementation of the MLS development program. On August 28, 1974, FAA announced that it had selected the ISMLS designed by Tull Aviation Corp. (See March 14, 1973, and February 27, 1975.)
19820607: The National Airspace Review (NAR) program convened the first two of 16 task groups organized to study various aspects of the airspace system. FAA had introduced the NAR concept in April 1981 with the announcement of a meeting to allow airspace users to participate in formulating the program, and had published a proposed plan for the review on August 10, 1981. Composed of representatives of FAA, the military, and the civil aviation community, the task groups submitted a host of recommended improvements, such as the Airport Radar Service Area (ARSA) concept (see December 22, 1983), for the FAA Administrator’s consideration. By the December 4, 1984, final meeting of the Executive Committee that had guided the NAR during its initial stage, the NAR had generated 850 recommendations, over 500 of which had already been implemented or approved for implementation. During its next phase, the NAR focused on the future rather than the present system, and the Office of Management Systems assumed responsibility for guiding the program.
19850607: Effective this date, FAA reduced the total flight hours required for a pilot to be eligible to obtain an instrument rating from 200 to 125. A contract study had indicated that the change would have no effect on pilots’ ability to learn instrument flying skills, but would encourage them to acquire the rating earlier.
19870607: The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) took over management of National and Dulles airports from FAA. The MWAA had been created by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Act (see October 30, 1986). Under the terms of a lease agreement with the Federal government, the new authority would operate the two airports for 50 years and would pay the government a total of $150 million for the lease period. Almost 700 FAA employees left the agency to join the MWAA, and a directive issued on October 26, 1987, abolished FAA’s Metropolitan Washington Airports organization.
19890607: New York real estate developer Donald Trump acquired Eastern Air Lines’ shuttle operation between Washington, New York, and Boston, and began service under the name Trump Shuttle the next day. The venture proved unprofitable, however, and on April 12, 1992, USAir began operating the renamed USAir Shuttle under a management contract with a group of banks.
20010607: FAA unveiled a plan that addressed the growing gap between demand and capacity in the air transportation system. The plan integrated and aligned agency activities with those of the aviation industry and users of the system. The Operational Evolution Plan (OEP) focused on maintaining safety, increasing capacity, and managing delays. The plan identified specific tasks to be accomplished in the near-term (2001 and 2002), mid-term (2002 to 2004), and long-term (2005 to 2010). FAA and industry considered the OEP an evolving document that would be modified, particularly to incorporate new technologies as they emerged. (See June 2007.)
20060607: FAA posted an announcement in the Federal Register that all Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 121, 135 and 91(K) operators would be issued a new operations specification (Ops Spec) or management specification (MSpec) requiring completion of a new en route landing distance assessment for all their turbojet aircraft. This calculation was to take into consideration runway conditions and allow a full-stop landing, on a given runway, with at least a 15-percent safety margin beyond the actual landing distance – according to the conditions existing at the time of arrival, and with deceleration means and other conditions appropriate to the and airplane being used. The calculation was to be staged as close to the time of arrival as practicable. Previous regulations had only mandated that calculations such as these be made prior to the departure of the aircraft.
20100607: FAA dedicated its newest laboratory at the William J. Technical Center. The NextGen Integration and Evaluation Capability (NIEC) laboratory, designed to simulate the national airspace system, provided a testbed where researchers could simulate and evaluate the effects of NextGen components on the system.
20120607: FAA’s office of commercial space transportation issued the first experimental permit allowing rocket-powered testing of a spaceship designed to carry humans. The permit, issued to Mojave, CA-based aerospace development company Scaled Composites, LLC, permitted the firm to begin powered test flights of its suborbital spacecraft, SpaceshipTwo, using its carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo. The firm was developing and testing the spaceship for Virgin Galactic, founded by Richard Branson, which planned to offer space flights to paying customers in the future. (See April 1, 2004; December 21, 2008; April 29, 2013.)
20220607: FAA awarded $518 million to build safer, more accessible airports nationwide. The grants helped fund various projects like maintaining airfields, buying equipment, and fixing runways.