This Day in FAA History: June 23rd

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19380623: President Roosevelt signed the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 into law. Most of its provisions, however, were to become effective 60 days later (see August 22, 1938). The law created a new kind of Federal agency–one designed, in the light of the Brownlow Report (see January 12, 1937) and court decisions (see June 27, 1935), to keep its functions as the agent of Congress distinct from its functions as the agent of the President. This new Civil Aeronautics Authority was composed of three elements.
19810623: Administrator Helms announced FAA’s decision to adopt the Threat Alert and Collision Avoidance System, soon renamed the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). The TCAS system was an evolutionary improvement of the Beacon Collision Avoidance System (BCAS) that the agency had been developing (see March 1976). Like BCAS, TCAS would work in conjunction with the Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System (ATCRBS) transponder already in wide use. It would also be compatible with the next-generation transponder, originally designated the Discrete Address Beacon System (DABS) and later known as Mode S (see December 27, 1978, and October 5, 1984).
Two types of the new collision avoidance system were planned. TCAS I, intended for general aviation use, would in its basic form simply alert the pilot to the proximity of another aircraft carrying TCAS I or a conventional ATCRBS transponder. More expensive TCAS I versions would have some ability to provide certain data on the altitude and/or “o’clock” position of threat aircraft. TCAS II would provide more sophisticated advisories, including data on range and bearing of transponder-equipped aircraft. When the transponder aboard the threat aircraft had altitude-reporting capability, TCAS II’s advisories would also include altitude data. In the case of two aircraft equipped with TCAS II, coordinated advisories would be provided. TCAS II would suggest vertical escape manuevers. If feasible, the system might be enhanced to include both vertical and horizontal escape manuevers, a version later designated TCAS III. TCAS was expected to overcome a fundamental limitation of BCAS by its ability to operate effectively even in the highest air traffic densities. This modified the need for a new ground-based collision avoidance system, and led to discontinuance of the Automatic Traffic Advisory and Resolution System (ATARS) project, originally known as Intermittent Positive Control (see March 4, 1976).
On November 13, 1981, FAA announced a contract with Bendix Corporation to provide two TCAS II engineering models to be tested and then enhanced to advise pilots of horizontal escape manuevers. (See March 18, 1987.)
19850623: An Air India 747 crashed into the North Atlantic during a flight from Montreal to London, killing all 329 persons aboard (see June 14, 1985). Circumstances made it appear that Sikh separatists might have been responsible for the tragedy and for a near-simultaneous bombing that killed two airport baggage handlers in Tokyo. Indian and Canadian government reports released the following year concluded that that the 747 was destroyed by a bomb in luggage in the forward cargo hold. In July 1992, Indian authorities arrested a Sikh extremist who was allegedly involved in the bombing.
20050623: FAA announced that the Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) system was operational at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center. The ATOP system provided safe separation of aircraft in areas, such as over the ocean, that were outside radar coverage or direct radio communication. It detected conflicts between aircraft and provided satellite data link communication and position information to air traffic controllers. ATOP also reduced the workload on controllers through the use of electronic flight strips instead of the labor-intensive paper strip method used for decades to track trans- oceanic aircraft. October 31, ATOP became operational at the Oakland, California, air route traffic control center. (See June 30, 2004; April 3, 2007.)
20100623: The U.S. Senate confirmed Michael P. Huerta as FAA deputy administrator. Prior to his appointment he ran his own consulting firm, advising clients on transportation policy, technology, and financing. He also served as a member of President Obama’s transition team for the Department of Transportation. He had been president of the Transportation Solutions Group of Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., a technology services provider supporting transportation agencies worldwide. Huerta served in two senior positions at the Department of Transportation under President Clinton from 1993 to 1998. He held a master’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Riverside. (See December 8, 2010.)
20130623: A United Airlines Boeing 787 flight from Houston to Denver returned to Houston shortly after takeoff because of an issue with the brake indicator. The previous Thursday, June 20, a United Boeing 787 from London to Houston made an emergency landing in Newark, NJ, because an indicator showed low engine oil. On Tuesday, June 18, a United Boeing 787 from Denver to Tokyo diverted to Seattle because of what the airline called an oil filter issue. (See April 25, 2013; July 25, 2013.)
20140623: FAA published a notice in the Federal Register on its interpretation of the statutory special rules for model aircraft in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. The guidance came after incidents involving the reckless use of unmanned model aircraft near airports and involving large crowds of people. FAA restated the law’s definition of “model aircraft,” including requirements they not interfere with manned aircraft, be flown within sight of the operator, and be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes. The agency also explained model aircraft operators flying within five miles of an airport must notify the airport operator and air traffic control tower. FAA could take enforcement action against model aircraft operators who operated their aircraft in a manner that endangered NAS safety. In the notice, FAA explained its enforcement authority was designed to protect users of the airspace as well as people and property on the ground. FAA reaffirmed that the act’s model aircraft provisions applied only to hobby or recreation operations and did not authorize the use of model aircraft for commercial operations. The notice provided examples of hobby or recreation flights, as well as examples of operations that would not meet that definition. (See January 11, 2014.)
20180623: FAA began operations in the new air traffic control tower at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. FAA and the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority (SMAA) built the new, 525 square-foot tower under a unique agreement. The FAA funded the new tower design and engineering and electronic equipment. Agency technicians and engineers installed the electronics and maintained the equipment. SMAA funded, constructed, and owned the new tower. SMAA maintained the facility, which included a 9,000 square foot base building that housed equipment, administrative offices, and training rooms. FAA dedicated the new tower on September 10, 2018.