This Day in FAA History: June 25th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19270625: Construction of the Propeller Research Tunnel was completed at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The largest research facility of its kind up to that time, the wind tunnel could accommodate the entire fuselage of a full-sized airplane, making it possible to conduct aerodynamic tests on full-scale fuselages, propellers, and other airplane parts. The facility, which was to make great contributions to aeronautical development (see November 1928), was part of a series of wind tunnels. NACA had begun operating its first wind tunnel on June 11, 1920. Later developments included a refrigerated tunnel, which NACA placed in operation in 1928 for study of icing on wings and propellers. In the spring of 1931, NACA began operating a Full Scale Tunnel large enough to test the performance of actual aircraft.
19350625: The first flight of the Breguet-Dorand Gyroplane, an aircraft with two rotors mounted one above the other, took place in France. The Gyroplane is sometimes cited as the first true helicopter, but its achievements were surpassed by Germany’s Focke-Achgelis Fa-61. Often considered the first practical helicopter, the Fa-61 first flew on June 26, 1936, and went on to set many records. During 1937, it made the first helicopter flight of over one hour.
19500625: North Korean forces launched an invasion of South Korea. Two days later, President Truman announced that he had ordered the U.S. Air Force to assist South Korea, beginning U.S. involvement in the war.
19560625: Its interest kindled by the Harding Report (see May 4, 1955), the Legal and Monetary Affairs Subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Operations, chaired by Rep. Robert H. Mollohan (D.-W.Va.), began extensive hearings on the Federal role in aviation. The hearings centered on: the adequacy of the Federal-aid airport program; problems in air traffic control and air navigational aids, with particular reference to the TACAN/VOR-DME controversy (see August 30, 1956); the effect of introducing commercial jets; the organization for aviation matters within the executive branch; the operational efficiency of CAA, including the effectiveness of its five-year program; and the problem of joint military and civil use of airports.
19700625: The first series of area navigation instrument approach procedures in the United States went into effect at six terminal areas–Kirksville, Mo., Longview, Tex., and Fullerton, Lancaster, Palm Springs, and Torrance, Calif. The new procedures permitted pilots of aircraft equipped with area navigation equipment to make straight-in instrument approaches to runways without the use of runway-oriented electronic approach aids. This eliminated the need for pilots to conduct time consuming turns and circling maneuvers required by conventional IFR approaches. (See October 1, 1969.)
19700625: FAA introduced major changes in the New York Metropolitan Area’s air traffic patterns and procedures. Known as New York Metroplex, the new procedures reduced traffic congestion in and around New York airports, and accelerated the movement of aircraft along major north-south routes. Under Metroplex, primary holding patterns, or arrival fixes, for area airports were moved farther out from the center of the city. This enabled FAA to add five new en route corridors, with the following results: the number of departure routes increased significantly, traffic distribution improved, bottlenecks were reduced, and crisscrossing of incoming and outgoing flight corridors was minimized. The introduction of the new procedures, first scheduled for April 2, 1970, but delayed by a postal employees strike and then the air traffic controllers strike, was made possible by the presence of the New York common IFR room (see July 15, 1968), which gave the New York area a greater and more flexible traffic handling capability than the older, unintegrated terminal control system. (See January 15, 1969.)
19700625: In a major new safety rule effective this date, FAA established the terminal control area (TCA) concept. FAA designed the rule, first proposed in September 1969 and re-proposed in revised form in March 1970, to minimize the midair collision hazard around the nation’s busiest airports. A TCA consisted of controlled airspace within which all aircraft would be subject to special operating rules and pilot and equipment requirements. Although the boundaries of each TCA would be determined separately, their general shape resembled an “inverted wedding cake” with its smallest layer touching the ground. TCAs were broken into two categories, with the most congested locations designated as Group I. The rules for Group I required
* Air traffic control clearance for all operations.
* Large turbine-powered aircraft to stay above the TCA’s floor unless otherwise authorized by air traffic control.
* The speed limit beneath the TCA’s lateral limits to be 200 knots (230 mph).
* Takeoffs and landings by solo student pilots to be banned.
* Aircraft to carry an operable two-way radio.
* Fixed-wing aircraft to carry an operable receiver for VOR or TACAN (standard navigation aids), as well as a radar beacon transponder. The transponder requirement did not apply to instrument flight rules (IFR) operations to and from secondary airports within the TCA. For Group II TCAs, the rules were the same as for Group I except that solo student operations were not banned, and that aircraft using visual flight rules (VFR) need not carry transponders (see June 8, 1973). Because of this less stringent transponder requirement, air traffic control would provide added separation service–separation from VFR as well as IFR traffic–only when large turbine-powered aircraft were involved. Within Group I TCAs, by contrast, air traffic control would maintain separation between all traffic.
FAA tentatively selected 10 locations as Group I TCAs and 14 as Group II. Because of varying local conditions, each was to be designated by a separate rule, beginning with those in Group I. FAA established the first TCA at Atlanta on the same day as the TCA concept itself. It established the second at Chicago on July 23. (See February 4, 1971.)
19790625: The first of a new generation of air route surveillance radars (ARSR-3s) went into operation. The solid-state ARSR-3 was the first new en route radar system acquired in 20 years (see November 20, 1956). It improved radar tracking range by 25 percent, to 200 nautical miles, and could track aircraft flying as high as 61,000 feet. The new radar could also display weather formations without interference with aircraft targets, providing a much clearer picture for controllers. FAA eventually deployed twenty-two ARSR-3s along high density segments of the en route system, commissioning the last in January 1983. An additional unit, delivered in February 1978, was installed at the Aeronautical Center for training purposes. FAA also purchased four mobile units. With their antenna capable of operating from a flat-bed truck, they could be rushed to any location where the existing radar had failed. (See September 1986.)
20010625: FAA issued a final rule to protect from disclosure voluntarily provided information that aids the agency in improving safety and security. The rule particularly encouraged data sharing programs, such as Flight Operational Quality Assurance, which used state-of-the-art flight data recorder technology to collect and analyze data on routine flights. FAA had been using data collected in this fashion to identify industry-wide safety trends and to target more effectively resources and correct potential safety problems. The rule took effect on July 25. (See June 30, 2000; October 30, 2001.)
20200625: United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved RAVN Air’s Plan of Liquidation that included an auction of the company and its three airlines. The auction would offer Ravn, with its secured lenders, an opportunity to sell the company and all or a substantial portion of its assets in a sale that would be approved by the Court on July 9. Approximately 30 bidders had expressed interest in buying all or some of the Air Group’s assets. Of these, five buyers submitted bids. (See April 5, 2020; July 7, 2020.)