This Day in FAA History: June 18th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19280618: Wilmer Stultz piloted a pontoon-equipped Fokker from Newfoundland to Wales on the first nonstop transatlantic flight by a seaplane. He was accompanied by a mechanic and by Amelia Earhart, the first woman transatlantic air passenger.
19710618: FAA announced a joint program with the military services designed to minimize the number of military aircraft flying under visual flight rules (VFR). The purpose of the program was to enhance the efficiency of the common civil-military airspace system and reduce the midair-collision hazard by bringing military flights under the direct control of FAA’s air traffic control facilities. To the maximum extent practicable, military flights in fixed-wing aircraft would be conducted in accordance under instrument flight rules (IFR). The danger of mixing of high-speed IFR and VFR traffic had been tragically illustrated by a midair collision on June 6, 1971, near Duarte, Calif., of a DC-9 airliner and a U.S. Marine Corps F-4B. All 49 occupants of the DC-9 and one of the two occupants of the F-4B were killed. The airliner was under IFR control; the military plane was flying VFR.
19730618: President Nixon signed into law the Airport Development Acceleration Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-44), which further amended the basic Airport and Airway Development Act of 1970 (see May 21, 1970). It was the second time the act had been amended in its three-year existence (see November 27, 1971). The 1973 amendment: increased the annual funding level of the Airport Development Aid Program (ADAP) from $280 million to $310 million; raised the Federal share for ADAP development of general aviation airports, reliever airports, and the smaller air carrier airports (identified as those that enplaned less than 1 percent of the passengers enplaned by all the air carriers certificated by the CAB) from 50 percent to 75 percent; and obligated the Federal government to pay 82 percent of the costs of safety equipment required for airport certification, as compared to the 50 percent for which it had previously taken responsibility. The amendment also prohibited states and localities from levying a “head tax” on passengers. (See June 30, 1975.)
19810618: The U.S. District Court rejected a PATCO motion to vacate the injunction restraining the union from engaging in illegal job actions or strikes (see June 21, 1978). PATCO moved to have the injunction lifted on the grounds that it had been superceded by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, which gave the Federal Labor Relations Authority original jurisdiction in Federal labor-management disputes. (See May 23, 1981, and June 17, 1981.)
Secretary of Transportation Drew Lewis and PATCO President Robert Poli had gone back to the bargaining table Friday evening, June 19, at the behest of Representative James J. Howard (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Public Works Committee. The resumption of talks may also have been prompted by a letter to Poli from 36 U.S. Senators, stating that a strike by PATCO “will do nothing to further your goals of increased pay and changes in working conditions.” The bargaining sessions, which took place at the offices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and were joined in by Federal mediator Kenneth Moffett, lasted more than 25 hours, with the last session running past 3 a.m., Monday.
The agreement contained four key provisions, which the Reagan Administration agreed to recommend to Congress:
* A “responsibility” differential that would give controllers 42 hours pay for each normal 40- hour week worked.
* An increase in the night differential from 10 to 15 percent of base pay.
* The exclusion of overtime, night differential, and Sunday and holiday pay from the limitations of the Federal pay cap.
* A retraining allowance equivalent to 14 weeks of base pay for controllers who became medically disqualified after five consecutive years of service at the journeyman level or above and who were ineligible for retirment or disability compensation.
The first-year cost of the total package, which included a cost-of-living raise of 4.8 percent due Federal civil service employees in October, came to approximately $40 million or, on the average, $4,000 per controller per year. PATCO had been seeking a package that would have cost the government, initially, in excess of $700 million per year. (See June 17, 1981, and July 2, 1981.)
19860618: A Bell 206B helicopter and a DHC-6 Twin Otter airplane collided while conducting air tours over the Grand Canyon National Park, killing all 25 persons aboard the two aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board listed the probable cause as the failure of both flightcrews to see and avoid each other for undetermined reasons. As contributory factors, the Board listed: failure of FAA oversight regarding Grand Canyon flights; National Park Service influence over route selection by air tour operators; and modification of helicopter routes to intersect those used by fixed-wing aircraft. On December 9, 1986, FAA published a proposal to establish special temporary flight restrictions above the Canyon, to be followed by a permanent rule addressing the safety and noise issues associated with operations over the park. (See March 26, 1987.)
19890618: FAA implemented a five-year Pay Demonstration Project to provide a quarterly retention/recruitment allowance of up to 20 percent of base pay. The project covered approximately 2,100 air traffic, flight standards, and airway facilities personnel working at 11 hard-to-staff facilities in the New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Oakland areas. (See May 26, 1994.)
20090618: Controllers at the Salt Lake City Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) were the first to control operational traffic with the new the En Route Automation Modernization System (ERAM). The goal of the operational test was to place ERAM in limited use during a period of low air traffic activity and record how the technology worked in an operational environment. ERAM, which will replace the HOST system, processed flight surveillance data, provided communications, and generated display information to air traffic controllers. It also supplied crucial flight plan information to terminal radar and control tower facilities. When fully operational at the ARTCC, the new technology will provide additional capabilities, such as the ability to process data from 64 radars instead of the current 24. (See September 30, 2007.)
20100618: FAA and the European Commission signed an agreement that recognized the importance of coordinated research and implementation of results into seamless air traffic services between the two continents. The agreement specified 22 specific areas of cooperation that would facilitate joint research and development of NextGen/Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) projects. (See July 18, 2006.)
20120618: FAA and NASA signed a memorandum of understanding to coordinate standards for commercial space travel of government and non-government astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit and the international space station. In addition, the agreement addressed proper protocols for implementation, financial obligations, liability, free exchange of data and information, and other administrative obligations between FAA and NASA. (See November 9, 1999.)
20130618: FAA announced the integration of the traffic analysis review program (TARP) at all ARTCCs. The TARP software automatically detected losses of aircraft separation and reported all such losses to the comprehensive electronic data analysis and reporting program (CEDAR). The system TARP replaced – the operational error detection patch – captured losses of separation, but did not transfer them directly into CEDAR. With TARP, alerts automatically showed up in CEDAR as electronic occurrence reports. CEDAR gathered both mandatory and electronic occurrence reports for analysis by ATO’s safety and technical training’s quality assurance team. The data helped FAA validate and classify events, and then take steps to prevent issues from occurring again. TARP had been used at terminal facilities since 2009.
20180618: FAA approved Boeing’s design for the 777X, which featured retractable wings. The design expanded the wingspan to 235 feet, which was too wide for most airports. As a result, Boeing designed the new wings so they could retract and reduce the span to 212 feet – small enough to continue using terminals designed for older 777s. FAA added special conditions to its approval to ensure the plane’s safety, such as lockouts and alarms to eliminate any chance of an aircraft attempting to take off while the wingtips were stowed or the wingtips being inadvertently folded in flight.