This Day in FAA History: June 14th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19510614: A new Title XIII of the Civil Aeronautics Act authorized the Secretary of Commerce to provide war risk insurance to U.S. air carriers when such insurance could not be obtained commercially on reasonable terms and conditions. Under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, the war risk insurance program remained with the Secretary of Commerce rather than becoming a function of the new Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). In 1967, the program was transferred from Commerce to the new Secretary of Transportation, who delegated the function to FAA. Under the program, FAA maintained a premium standby insurance plan that would make aviation war risk insurance available at the outbreak of war to civil aircraft engaged in operations deemed in the national interest. The program also included non-premium war risk insurance for aircraft under contract to the Departments of Defense and State or committed to Defense for emergency use. (See July 31, 1970.)
19590614: FAA established a Bureau of National Capital Airports to provide management responsibility for Washington National Airport and the new Washington International Airport, then under construction at Chantilly, Va, and soon to be renamed (see July 15, 1959). Establishment of the new bureau was viewed as an interim measure pending enactment of legislation to set up a government corporation, within the framework of FAA, to handle the management and operational functions of both airports.
19730614: The Los Angeles ARTCC became the first center to achieve initial operational capability with computer-driven radar displays capable of showing identity and three-dimensional position information on aircraft targets. Radar data processing began Phase Two of the ARTCC automation program. (See February 13, 1973 and August 26, 1975.)
19830614: A Joint System Program Office (JSPO) representing the National Weather Service, FAA, and the Air Force awarded two competitive contracts to develop pre-production models of the Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD). The contracts would remain in effect until July 1986, after which one of the firms would be selected for production. NEXRAD would have the ability to “see” inside storms and measure the velocity and direction of wind-driven precipitation and other particles suspended in the air. The system was based on the Doppler effect, which permits an object’s speed and direction to be determined by the lengths or frequency of the light, sound, or radio waves it emits.
The U.S. government had been investigating the potential of Doppler radar since the 1950s. In April 1977, joint NEXRAD testing was begun by the Air Force and the Commerce Department’s National Weather Service. FAA formally joined the program in December 1977, due to the tests’ success and perhaps also the crash of a DC-9 in a thunderstorm (see April 4, 1977). In August 1979, the Departments of Commerce, Transportation, and Defense formed a Joint System Program Office with the goal of developing a national network of NEXRAD radars and processing equipment. The Commerce Department, which planned to buy and operate most of the radars, was given the lead role (see February 28, 1994).
Initially, NEXRAD had been intended to cover both en route and airport needs, but Project JAWS (see May 15-August 13, 1982) produced data on wind shear microbursts that prompted FAA to conclude that separate airport systems would be needed. To learn more about how Doppler radar could by applied to the low-level wind shear hazard, FAA conducted Project CLAWS (for classify, locate, and avoid wind shear) in the Denver area from July 7 to August 13, 1984. FAA contracted with the National Center for Atmospheric Research to provide daily microburst forecasts, Doppler radar surveillance, and real-time advisories of microburst activities. During CLAWS, pilots gave detailed feedback on the effectiveness of the system. On September 16, 1985, FAA signed an agreement with the Commerce Department under which FAA would contract with the Sperry and Raytheon corporations to identify how NEXRAD systems would need to be modified to develop terminal Doppler radar. (See August 2, 1985.)
19850614: Two Lebanese Shiite Moslems hijacked a TWA 727 departing Athens and diverted it to Beirut, where additional hijackers joined them. During a two-week confrontation, they demanded the release of Shiite prisoners held by Israel. The hijackers murdered one passenger, a U.S. Navy diver. They released the other 155 hostages (including 39 Americans) in stages, the last being freed on June 30. Lebanese authorities held the aircraft in Beirut until August 16.
The TWA hijacking and an upsurge in Middle East terrorism prompted a series of U.S. actions. Events included:
* On June 18, President Reagan warned travelers of inadequate security measures at Athens airport. This advisory was lifted on July 22, after an FAA inspection found improvements. * On June 23, an Air India jet crashed under mysterious circumstances (see entry for this date below).
* On June 27, Transportation Secretary Dole urged the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to act immediately to enhance airport security. The ICAO Council met on an accelerated schedule, and on December 19 adopted amendments strengthening international security standards and recommended practices.
* On July 1, the President suspended airline travel between U.S. and Lebanon.
* During July, FAA issued an emergency regulatory amendment requiring airlines to carry Federal Air Marshals on certain flights. Eight days later, the agency issued another emergency rule that required airlines to expand security training for crew members and to provide a ground security coordinator and an in-flight security coordinator for every flight.
* Between mid-August and early November, FAA personnel assisted by law enforcement officers from other agencies inspected U.S. air carrier security procedures at 79 foreign airports.
* FAA also issued a number of emergency amendments to the agency-approved security programs of both airlines and airport operators.
On August 8, the President signed the International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1985. The Act authorized the use of $5 million from the Airport and Airway Trust Fund for research on and development of airport security devices and explosives detection techniques. It also mandated a system for conducting security assessments at foreign airports, and authorized Federal Air Marshals as a permanent FAA workforce. The agency began hiring additional security inspectors and training them to serve as Air Marshals. FAA also reorganized its Office of Civil Aviation Security to reflect its expanded responsibilities under the Act, creating an International Civil Aviation Security Division and an Intelligence Division. (See August 5, 1986.)
19880614: FAA issued its first certificate to a major all-composite aircraft, the Beech Starship, a business-class turboprop seating between seven and ten.
19900614: Secretary Skinner announced that he intended to create an Office of Intelligence and Security within OST, and that its Director would be Coast Guard Vice Admiral Clyde E. Robbins. At the same time, Administrator Busey announced the new FAA position of Assistant Administrator for Civil Aviation Security (see July 20, 1990). The actions were in part a response to recommendations of the President’s Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism (see May 15, 1990).
19930614: As mandated by legislation, FAA established the Civil Tiltrotor Development Advisory Committee to study the feasibility of civil tiltrotor transportation. Delivered to Congress on December 29, 1995, the Committee’s final report recommended an expansion of civil tiltrotor research and the establishment of a public/private partnership to address issues associated with the concept.
19990614: The media reported that some FAA lawyers planned to join a union. When Congress released FAA from many civil service rules, it had said that unionized workers could bargain with management over salaries. It also had given FAA the option of lowering salaries of unorganized workers via a core compensation plan. Air traffic controllers, who already were unionized, were the first FAA employees to bargain for salaries.
20000614: The National Transportation Safety Board urged the installation of warning systems that would prevent runway incidents at all 382 airports handling regularly scheduled passenger flights. June 26, FAA announced it would buy a new ground surveillance system that would improve runway safety at 25 airports. The new airport surface detection equipment, called ASDE-X, would provide detailed coverage of runways and taxiways at an airport and also alert air traffic controllers in the tower to impending collisions. The new system provided similar data to the current ASDE-3 ground radar installed at 34 of the nation’s busiest airports. Those airports would also have the Airport Movement Area Safety System (AMASS) in operation by late 2002. AMASS was a computer enhancement to the ASDE-3 radar that alerted controllers to an impending collision on or near the runway. ASDE-X offered the functions of ASDE-3 and AMASS at less-busy and complex airports and at lower cost. FAA planned to award a contract for production of ASDE-X in September. (See March 14, 2000; July 15, 2000; October 24, 2000.)
20020614: GAO concluded FAA’s controller hiring plans were inadequate, and that the widely publicized problem of controller retirements was going to be even worse than the agency had predicted. Investigating controller attrition at the direction of Congress, the GAO reported that about 5,000 controllers might retire in the next five years, double the number who retired in the previous five years. Although the exact number and timing of the controllers’ departures had not been determined, attrition scenarios developed by both FAA and GAO indicated that the total attrition would grow substantially in both the short and long term. As a result, FAA would likely need to hire thousands of air traffic controllers in the next decade to meet increasing traffic demands and to address the anticipated attrition of experienced controllers.
20120614: FAA decommissioned the four-decades-old HOST computer system at the Seattle and Salt Lake City Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs) and replaced the system with the en route automation modernization (ERAM) system. ERAM reached its operational readiness date (ORD) at Salt Lake City on March 27 and at Seattle on April 14. (See June 18, 2009; April 30, 2014.)
20150614: FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the recreational use of drones because existing rules did not recognize launch and recovery operations for high-powered amateur rockets in the United States. The rulemaking included proposals to require FAA to issue temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) for so-called “Class 2 and 3” amateur high-powered rocket launches, and to make those launch, reentry, and amateur rocket operation zone TFRs apply to foreign-registered aircraft as well as to U.S. registered aircraft. A TFR excluded flight in airspace defined by lateral and vertical dimensions over a certain period of time. (See May 8, 2015; August 4, 2015.)
20230614: FAA issued a final rule requiring a secondary barrier on the flight deck of new commercial airplanes to ensure the safety of aircraft, flight crew, and air passengers. The rule would be implemented 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. (See July 27, 2022.)