This Day in FAA History: June 16th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19370616: Commercial passenger service was inaugurated reciprocally between New York and Bermuda by Pan American Airways, using the Sikorsky S.42B flying boat Bermuda Clipper, and by Imperial Airways, using the Short S.23 flying boat Cavalier. This was the first scheduled airplane service over a segment of the North Atlantic.
19410616: CAA officially opened Washington National Airport for full-time operations. By the end of the year, almost 300,000 passengers had enplaned or deplaned at the airport, and scheduled air carrier operations reached a high of 192 daily in the month of September. Spectator interest was very high, and by the first of December over 2,225,000 persons had visited the airport.
19480616: The International Aviation Facilities Act became law. It authorized the CAA Administrator to improve air navigation facilities abroad and to train foreign nationals to operate such facilities whenever it benefited U.S. air carriers. The act gave the Administrator responsibility for maintaining a record of deficiencies in aviation facilities used by U.S.-flag carriers and to plan appropriate programs for their correction.
19690616: FAA commissioned the Anchorage air route traffic control center’s new building, located on Elmendorf AFB. Formal dedication ceremonies were on August 21, 1969.
19690616: The Nixon Administration submitted to Congress the Aviation Facilities Expansion Bill of 1969, proposed legislation to expand and improve the nation’s airway and airport systems and to provide revenue to support this expansion. Similar legislation had been submitted to Congress by President Johnson (see May 20, 1968), but was not acted on. Features of the Nixon Administration’s proposals included
* Increasing the outlay for airway facilities and equipment to $250 million a year over the next 10 years. (During the decade of the sixties, annual appropriations for airway facilities and equipment averaged $93 million.)
* Increasing the average yearly Federal outlay for airport development to $250 million over the next 10 years. (In the past, Congress had appropriated approximately $65 million a year in FAAP funds.)
* Imposing (1) an 8 percent tax on domestic airline passenger tickets; (2) a $3 surcharge on passenger tickets for international flights originating in the United States; (3) a 5 percent tax on air-freight waybills; and (4) a 9-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline and jet fuel used by general aviation aircraft.
* Placing the revenues generated by the new taxes in a designated account in the U.S. Treasury to be used exclusively for airway and airport development. (See September 20, 1967, and May 21, 1970.)
19770616: FAA published a rule requiring the installation of shoulder harnesses on the front seats of new small airplanes weighing 12,500 pounds or less that were manufactured after July 18, 1978. This rule upgraded safety standards included in an August 1, 1969, rule that required manufacturers of small aircraft to provide protection against head injuries for all occupants. This protection was to be achieved through seat belts in combination with either harnesses, energy-absorbing rests, or the elimination of injurious objects within striking radius of the head. The added requirement concerning harnesses for front seats stemmed from a January 1973 rulemaking proposal that followed recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board and a petition from consumer advocate Ralph Nader. (See November 13, 1985.)
19880616: Administrator McArtor announced a reorganization of FAA’s senior management structure, building upon recommendations by the Secretary’s Task Force on Internal FAA Reform (see March 9, 1988). The reorganization’s aims were to: improve communications, coordination, and management oversight of FAA’s technical modernization and other activities; reduce unnecessary reporting relationships; and allow Washington headquarters to handle increased authority over field operations. Effective July 1, 1988, FAA increased the number of Executive Director positions from one to four (see October 20, 1987, and February 21, 1990). The Executive Directors reported directly to the Administrator, and most of the agency’s functions were consolidated under them. As described in a new directive issued on February 6, 1989, the four Executive Directors were responsible for the following organizational elements:
(1) Executive Director for Policy, Plans, and Resource Management (the new title of the former single Executive Director position). Reporting to this position were the:
(a) Associate Administrator for Policy, Planning, and International Aviation (responsible for the Europe, Africa, and Middle East Office and three other Offices: International Aviation; Aviation Policy and Plans; and Environment, later redesignated Environment and Energy);
(b) Associate Administrator for Human Resource Management (responsible for four Offices: Human Resource Development; Labor and Employee Relations; Personnel; and Training and Higher Education);
(c) Associate Administrator for Administration (responsible for the Acquisition and Materiel Service and three Offices: Accounting; Budget; and Management Systems);
(d) Regional Directors, now retitled Regional Administrators to reflect their role as representatives of the Administrator; and the
(e) Director, Aeronautical Center.
(2) Executive Director for Systems Operations, to whom reported the:
(a) Associate Administrator for Air Traffic (responsible for the Office of Air Traffic Evaluations and Analysis and two Services: Air Traffic Plans and Requirements; and Air Traffic Operations);
(b) Associate Administrator for Airway Facilities (responsible for two Services: Program Engineering and Systems Maintenance);
(c) Director of Operations Planning and Policy; and the
(d) Director of Operations Resource Management.
(3) Executive Director for Regulatory Standards and Compliance, to whom reported the:
(a) Associate Administrator for Regulation and Certification (responsible for the Office of Rulemaking and two Services: Aircraft Certification and Flight Standards);
(b) Associate Administrator for Aviation Standards (responsible for the Aviation Standards National Field Office and three other Offices: Aviation Medicine; Civil Aviation Security; and Accident Investigation); and the
(c) Director of Program and Resource Management.
(4) Executive Director for System Development, to whom reported the:
(a) Associate Administrator for Advanced Design and Management Control (responsible for the Operations Research Office and two Services: Advanced System Design; and Management Control)
(b) Associate Administrator for NAS (National Airspace System) Development (responsible for the System Engineering and Program Management Office and three Services: Automation; Advanced System Acquisition; and NAS Transition);
(c) Associate Administrator for Airports (responsible for the Airport Capacity Program Office and two other Offices: Airport Planning and Programming; and Airport Standards); and the
(d) Director, FAA Technical Center.
In addition to the Executive Directors, the positions reporting to the Administrator were: the former Director, Aviation Safety, now retitled an Associate Administrator (responsible for two Offices: Aviation Safety Analysis and Aviation Safety Oversight); the Chief Counsel; and three Assistant Administrators for: Public Affairs, Civil Rights; and Government and Industry Affairs.
Also effective on July 1, 1988, FAA implemented a straightline reporting system under which regional division program managers in the following functions reported to Associate Administrators at national headquarters instead of to the former Regional Directors: air traffic, airway facilities, aircraft certification, flight standards, civil aviation security, medical, and airports. Under the new arrangement, the Regional and Center Counsels also reported to the Chief Counsel.
19880616: Administrator McArtor announced a five point program to assist development of tiltrotor aviation, including: (1) negotiations with the Defense Department for FAA access to engineering and test data; (2) accelerated efforts in such areas as tiltrotor airspace review, criteria for flight tests and pilot training, and final aircraft certification standards; (3) establishment of a tiltrotor program organization that reported to the Administrator during McArtor’s tenure; (4) expanded research and development; and (5) stepped-up planning and development of vertiports.
19890616: FAA issued a rule limiting the distance between emergency exits on transport category planes to no more than 60 feet. The rule applied to all new transport planes certificated after July 23 and to all newly manufactured airplanes of older type designs produced after October 16, 1987. It also prevented modifications, such as deactivation of exits, to increase the distance between exits to more than the 60 foot standard.
19980616: The National Transportation Safety Board reported that the probable cause of the crash of Fine Air Flight 101 onto a Miami street the previous summer was a combination of the actions of an inexperienced crew and the effects of an improperly loaded cargo. Federal investigators said that both the airline and FAA shared responsibility for failing to correct numerous safety problems. NTSB further chose this crash to address broader problems in FAA oversight of all airlines, drawing parallels to the 1996 fatal crash, also attributed to hazardous cargo, of a ValuJet DC-9. Several NTSB members suggested FAA should clean house at its flight standards office in Miami, the headquarters for five major all-cargo companies. NTSB’s official report on the cargo crash said the Miami office knew of deficiencies in Fine Air’s operations, but did not correct them.
19990616: FAA proposed to revise and strengthen federal rules for maintenance performed at domestic and foreign repair stations. The proposed new regulation would ensure that certified repair stations were held responsible for all maintenance work that was outsourced to contractors.
20080616: Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell announced the elimination of flight caps at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. He said O’Hare had been designated as an International Air Transport Association (IATA) Level 2 airport, a designation that required air carriers to continue providing their schedules six months in advance. In 2004, FAA capped arrivals at O’Hare at 88 during most hours of the day to reduce congestion at the world’s second-busiest airport. (See August 18, 2004; October 30, 2008.)