This Day in FAA History: June 30th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19270630: The Aeronautics Branch issued Transport License No. 199 to Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie, probably the first woman to obtain a pilot license from a civilian agency of the U.S. government. (Other American women had previously received pilot licenses from the Joint Army and Navy Board on Aeronautic Cognizance, which issued civilian flying licenses during 1918-19, as well as from organizations such as the Federation Aeronautique Internationale.) The Aeronautics Branch also issued one of the early aircraft and engine mechanic’s licenses to Omlie.
19270630: The Aeronautics Branch announced that its first airways strip map was available for purchase: Moline, Ill., to Kansas City, Mo.
19280630: During the quarter that ended on this date, the Commerce Department’s Aeronautics Branch established a five-member Aircraft Accident Board to investigate and analyze civil aircraft accidents with a view to determining and eliminating their causes.
19280630: During fiscal 1928, which ended on this date, the Commerce Department succeeded in developing a practical radio navigation beacon system. Two series of flight tests were conducted on the New York-Cleveland airway between July 1927 and February 1928. During fiscal 1929, the Aeronautics Branch standardized a type of four-course radio range system in which pilots listened to aural signals to determine if they were on course. By June 30, 1929, the Branch was able to report that seven of these standard radio beacons were in operation, providing a continuous radio-marked course from Omaha to New York and from Key West to Havana. The Branch stepped up installation of four-course radio ranges in the early 1930s. This type of facility became the standard civil air navigation aid, and retained that status until after World War II (see Calendar year 1952 and September 5, 1974).
19290630: During the fiscal year that ended on this date, the Airways Division of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Lighthouses established an office at Fort Worth, Tex., under an airways engineer, for maintenance of aeronautical aids on certain specified airways. A similar office had previously been established at Salt Lake City during fiscal 1927. These were the only two organizations concerned exclusively with the maintenance of aeronautical aides. For the remainder of the nation’s airways, maintenance of facilities was apportioned among the Third, Sixth, Tenth, Twelfth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Lighthouse Districts. Although part of the Bureau of Lighthouses, these organizations received pertinent directions from the Aeronautics Branch (see August 11, 1926, and July 1, 1933).
Also during this fiscal year, the field organization of the Inspection Service of the Aeronautics Branch was reduced from eleven to nine districts, each under the direction of a supervising aeronautical inspector. The headquarters of the numbered districts were located at Garden City, N.Y.; Camden, N.J.; Atlanta, Ga.; Detroit, Mich.; Chicago, Ill.; Kansas City, Mo.; Dallas, Tex.; Oakland, Calif.; and Los Angeles, Calif.
19310630: During the fiscal year that ended on this date, the Aeronautics Branch established an Engineering Section branch office at Los Angeles to expedite the examination and approval of aircraft types. The office was created to allow owners and manufacturers in the West the same opportunity for contact with engineering officials as the main office in Washington provided east of the Rockies.
19320630: During the fiscal year that ended this date, the first two installations of a new type of radio marker beacon were completed and placed in experimental operation –one at Archbold, Ohio, and one at Sidney, Neb. Sixteen others were ready for installation. Known as class B radio markers, or as radio landing ranges, these new radio marker beacons had 50-watt transmitters equipped with loop antennas, which permitted operation as short-range radio range beacons. They were also equipped for telephone as well as for automatic code transmission. In contrast to the Class A, 7.5-watt sets, which had a voice range of 5 to 10 miles, the 50-watt sets had a range of 30 to 40 miles. Class B marker beacons serve primarily to mark intermediate landing fields and to furnish, upon request, information on landing and weather conditions.
19330630: During the fiscal year that ended this date, substitution began of a new T-L antenna for the old loop antenna used to transmit radio range beacon signals to guide airmen flying through conditions of poor visibility. The new antenna satisfactorily disposed of the problem of night errors associated with the loop antenna. By the fiscal year’s end, six of the T-L antennas were in operation, 38 were about to be placed in service, and equipment was available for installation at six additional sites.
Remote control of radio aids to air navigation also began during the fiscal year. Heretofore, operators of such aids were located on the premises of each radio facility. Since the facilities were far removed from the air terminals, owing to the hazard radio towers posed to aircraft, the operators seldom came into personal contact with the people they served. Installation of remote control enabled them to be located in the teletypewriter station, operating airways radio broadcasting stations and the radio beacon transmitters by means of a dial switch and leased telephone lines. This centralization of control and close contact with the flying public promoted efficiency and reduced operating and maintenance costs.
By the end of June 1933, three remote control installations had been completed. The equipment for 63 additional stations had been purchased and delivered for installation.
19380630: During the fiscal year that ended this date, the Department of Commerce established teletype network Schedule B connecting airway traffic control centers with airway communication stations and with military airbases. By the end of the year this teletype network comprised approximately 10,000 miles of circuits. Prior to this time, the airway traffic control centers were served by only a party-line telephone circuit connecting the center with the local airline radio ground stations, the control tower, and the Department of Commerce radio range stations. Control of airway traffic was limited to aircraft that were in communication with the radio stations operating at the same location as the airway traffic control center.
Establishment of the Schedule B network permitted teletype transmission of flight data independently of the increasing load of weather data being transmitted on Schedule A circuits. It became apparent, however, that improved telephone communication was also needed for airway traffic control. By the end of fiscal 1940, the government had leased 1,760 miles of private-line telephone circuits connecting airway traffic control centers and other facilities. By 1942, there were 29,124 miles of these “interphone circuits” in operation.
19400630: The reorganization of the Civil Aeronautics Authority, under President Roosevelt’s Reorganization Plans III and IV, went into effect. The President’s announced purpose was to clarify the relations of the Civil Aeronautics Authority’s Administrator and its five-member board (which was designated the Civil Aeronautics Authority, the same term used to describe the agency as a whole). The new legislation divided the responsibility of regulating civil aviation between two new organizations.
The five-man board was transferred to the Department of Commerce and renamed the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). The Air Safety Board was abolished and its accident-investigating functions assigned to the new CAB. Though the CAB was to report to Congress and the President through the Secretary of Commerce, it was to exercise its functions of safety rulemaking, adjudication, investigation, and airline economic regulation, independently of the Secretary.
The Administrator, with the new title Administrator of Civil Aeronautics, was also transferred to the Department of Commerce, and placed under the supervision of the Secretary. The Administrator’s functions now included those initially assigned to him by the Civil Aeronautics Act (see June 23, 1938), plus certain safety-regulating duties the Authority had delegated to him after appointing him Supervisor of the Bureau of Safety Regulation in the Authority. These safety regulating duties did not involve rulemaking or the power to suspend or revoke certificates. To deal with his changed responsibilities, the Administrator informally placed an interim organizational scheme in effect on August 24. Eighteen units reported directly to him: the Management Planning Section; the Personnel Section; Washington National Airport; the Federal Airways Service; the Certificate and Inspection Division; the Civilian Pilot Training Division; the Legal (Compliance) Division; the Aviation Medical Division; the Information and Statistics Division; the Administrative Division; a Coordinator of Field Activities; and the seven regional managers. Subsequent modifications of this structure included the creation on November 1 of an Executive Officer position to handle internal managerial activities (see December 4, 1939 and May 15, 1945).
On August 29, Department of Commerce Order 52 designated the functions of the Administrator as the Civil Aeronautics Administration. The Civil Aeronautics Authority continued to exist on paper as an entity embracing the CAB and the Civil Aeronautics Administration, but it performed no functions as the Authority.
19420630: Fiscal year, 1942: CAA began a test program to develop a means of preventing damage to aircraft windshields from collision with birds in flight.
Stanton had received a B.S. degree from Tufts College in 1917, and had served as a World War I aviator with the 122d Aero Squadron, U.S. Army. His civil aviation career began in 1918, when he was employed in the air mail operations of the U.S. Post Office Department. After leaving the U.S. Air Mail Service in 1923, he became executive officer of the National Aeronautic Association, and later worked for the U.S. Corps of Engineers and in private engineering firms. In 1927 he joined the Aeronautics Branch of the Department of Commerce as an airplane and engine inspector, transferring soon afterward to the Airways Division. He served continuously with the Branch and its successor organizations until becoming CAA Deputy Administrator, the post he held at the time of his appointment as Administrator. (See September 23, 1944.)
19450630: During the fiscal year that ended on this date, CAA began development work on adapting radar to civil aviation at the Indianapolis Experimental Station, using equipment supplied by the Armed Forces. (See July 23, 1935 and May 24, 1946.)
CAA drafted comprehensive proposals for revision of the Civil Air Regulations and submitted them to the Civil Aeronautics Board. The Board was engaged in revising safety regulations to reflect wartime advances in aviation.
CAA also resumed its air marking program, suspended during the war because of security restrictions. The Agency installed markers at 66 points in N.C., Conn., Tex., Ill., Pa., Ohio, and Wash. during the fiscal year.
19460630: CAA announced the opening of its first two regional medical offices at Santa Monica, Calif., and New York, N.Y. The Agency planned to open a third office in Fort Worth, Tex., in July.
19470630: During the fiscal year ending on this date, the U.S. Army Air Forces inaugurated a military flight communications system, which relieved CAA of responsibility for handling the majority of Army flight plans under visual flight rules and reporting arrivals on the civil communications system. CAA’s handling of communications relating to flights under instrument flight rules remained unchanged.
In view of the trend toward larger and more complex aircraft, CAA completed plans regarding certification of three new classes of flight personnel: flight radio operators, flight navigators, and flight engineers.
CAA also installed the first high-powered, low-frequency, long-range navigation facility, on Nantucket Island, Mass., using temporary radio equipment. Construction materials and 300-foot towers had been procured for this and similar facilities to be built at: San Juan, P.R.; Omaha, Neb.; San Francisco, Calif.; and Honolulu, Hawaii.
19470630: Fifty students from the Philippine Republic began training at the Aeronautical Training Center at Oklahoma City under the Philippine Rehabilitation Act. Courses of instruction included air traffic control, airways communications, and airways facilities maintenance. Under the same legislation, CAA also opened an office in the Philipines during 1947 to aid that nation in establishing airway aids.
19480630: The Bell Telephone Laboratories made the first public demonstration of the point contact transistor, developed by two Bell scientists, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain. The background of this achievement included work by another Bell scientist, William Shockley, who in 1951 invented a simpler and improved amplifying device, the junction transistor. Great advances in electronics resulted from the introduction of the transistor, which virtually replaced the vacuum tube.
19490630: Operation Blackjack, a joint Air Defense Command/CAA training exercise, was conducted in the northeastern part of the United States to develop effective procedures for separating “unfriendly bombers” from normal air traffic moving in the area.
19510630: During fiscal year 1951, which ended on this date, CAA assisted the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA) in formulating plans for the use of civil aircraft in civil defense. In cooperation with FCDA and the National Association of State Aviation Officials, CAA distributed a suggested uniform State Plan for Civil Aviation Mobilization and Civil Defense.
19520630: The U.S. Air Force and the Civil Aeronautics Administration worked out an agreement under which 11 CAA air route traffic control centers would furnish appropriate air defense units with flight movement data on aircraft penetrating or operating within air defense identification zones (ADIZs). This agreement followed tests conducted by experimental aircraft movement identification sections (AMIS) established at the Boston and Seattle ARTCC centers. (See December 20, 1950, and December 1, 1955.)
19540630: During fiscal year 1954, which ended on this date, the Eisenhower Administration’s retrenchment cut CAA’s budget to $115.9 million, $20 million less than the agency received in fiscal 1953 and the lowest amount since 1949. The reduction was achieved by eliminating 1,500 positions, discontinuing control tower operations at airports with light commercial traffic, decommissioning nonessential communications stations, and curtailing services to private fliers.
Congress appropriated no new funds for the Federal-aid airport program during fiscal 1954, but work proceeded on projects already funded. CAA reviewed and revised its policies toward future grants, concluding that they should concentrate on airports important from an overall national aviation standpoint. Federal funds should be used primarily for improvements contributing directly to safety and efficiency of aviation operations and to national defense, and improvements to airport terminal buildings should be excluded. An appropriation of $22 million reactivated the program for fiscal 1955. (See January 9, 1947, and August 3, 1955.)
19560630: A Trans World Airlines Super Constellation and a United Air Lines DC-7 collided over the Grand Canyon, Ariz., killing all 128 occupants of the two airplanes. The collision occurred while the transports were flying under visual flight rules (VFR) in uncongested airspace.
The accident dramatizing the fact that, even though U.S. air traffic had more than doubled since the end of World War II, little had been done to expand the capacity of the air traffic control system or to increase safeguards against midair collisions. Sixty-five such collisions had occurred in the United States between 1950 and 1955. This was partly because the ATC system did not have the ability to segregate VFR traffic from instrument flight rules (IFR) traffic, or slow-moving flights from faster ones. Many experts recognized a need to institute positive control — requiring instrument flight over certain portions of the airspace irrespective of weather conditions.
In the wake of the tragedy, Congress opened hearings to probe its relationship to the general problems of airspace and air traffic control management. (See April 11, 1957.)
19560630: The first radar in a CAA program to “circular polarize” airport surveillance was completed at La Guardia Airport. The modification program would permit the radar to “see” aircraft passing through rain and snow. With the unmodified equipment, aircraft operating in storm areas often failed to show on the scope.
19570630: For fiscal 1957, which ended on this date, CAA received increased funding after several years of declining or stable budgets. The agency’s airway facility funds grew from $16 million in FY 1956 to $75 million in 1957, raising the overall CAA budget for 1957 to $278.4 million. Further major increases in facilities and equipment funds the next two years brought the total CAA budget to $565 million, reflecting heightened urgency concerning air traffic control problems.
19600630: The House Committee on Science and Astronautics recommended that Congress support a Federal program for the development of a commercial supersonic transport (SST). The committee report called for completion of the B-70 bomber program, which it considered justified on defense grounds and which was expected to blaze a technological trail for the SST. The report also recommended that NASA assume leadership in devising a program for SST development. (See January 9, 1961.)
19620630: FAA established a Psychiatric Services Staff within its Aviation Medical Service to assure that the agency’s medical program would give proper emphasis to the psychological dimension and needs of the nation’s airmen.
19650630: During fiscal year 1965, which ended on this date, FAA established seven area offices in the Europe, Africa, and Middle East Region: Beirut, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, Lagos, and New York. (See October 1, 1963 and May 1, 1965.)
Also during fiscal 1965, FAA transferred five FAA-operated intermediate landing fields to local sponsors to be turned into public airports. The one remaining FAA-operated intermediate field in the contiguous United States was at Hanksville, Ut. The state of Utah assumed operation of that facility on June 23, 1974.
19650630: Among other actions in this fiscal year, FAA compiled a list of nearly 500 “safe haven” airports for air carrier fleet dispersal in the event of a national emergency. The Office of Emergency Planning (subsequently renamed Office of Emergency Preparedness) aided the project, and FAA coordinated the list with the Air Force to insure the integration of military and civil dispersal plans. FAA also developed a special-purpose vehicle for measuring surface-friction characteristics of airport runways as part of a program to improve the stopping capability of civil transport aircraft under adverse runway conditions.
19660630: The Lockheed L-286 helicopter became the first rigid-rotor helicopter to receive FAA type certification.
19660630: During fiscal 1966, which ended on this date, FAA’s interests in 21 airports owned, operated, or maintained by the agency were transferred to the state of Alaska. The FAA-owned facilities transferred to the state were intermediate airports at Cold Bay and 7 other locations. FAA continued for a time to own 7 other intermediate airports in Alaska, but by 1996 the agency owned only one of these facilities.
During the same fiscal year, FAA also returned the international field office at San Francisco to the line control of the Pacific Region’s Flight Standards Division. In fiscal 1965 the field office had been assimilated to the area-manager concept by being placed under an FAA representative responsible directly to the Director, Pacific Region.
FAA implemented the performance and reliability system (PAR) designed to monitor mechanical reliability in the airline industry as represented by 15 participating airlines. Regularly updated information on selected safety parameters were displayed in graphs and charts for each airline. The performance patterns thus revealed allowed inspectors to concentrate on problem areas and reduce routine inspections.
In a related effort to improve monitoring of air carrier compliance with operational and maintenance rules, FAA partially implemented the Systemworthiness Analysis Program (SWAP) on July 1. Under this program, the agency strategically based teams of inspectors within an inspection area to complement small cadres of inspectors domiciled at the carriers’ main operations and maintenance bases. The resident cadres maintained routine surveillance, while the SWAP teams, periodically and as necessary, performed in-depth inspections of air carrier programs for keeping their personnel and materiel up to standards. FAA fully implemented SWAP during fiscal 1968.
19670630: During fiscal year 1967, which ended on this date, FAA installed an IBM 9020 simplex computer system at the Cleveland (Ohio) ARTCC (see February 18, 1970).
FAA also adopted a new, lower-cost design standard for control towers at medium activity airports. The new design retained the appearance of the tower concept adopted by FAA in 1962, featuring a free-standing 60- to 120-foot pentagonal concrete shaft topped by a control tower cab with 300 square feet of operating space. Money was saved in construction through use of more conventional techniques and elimination of certain operational features. (See February 1965.)
In addition, during fiscal 1967, FAA used thickened, or gelled, fuels for the first time to operate a ground-based jet aircraft engine. This test, successfully concluded at FAA’s National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center, was followed by the initiation of an expanded FAA sponsored program at the Naval Air Propulsion Test Center. The use of gelled fuels was one of a number of avenues being explored by FAA for reducing the fire hazard in aircraft accidents.
19680630: The Lockheed C-5A Galaxy, a long-range military heavy transport, made its first flight. On September 30, 1965, the Air Force had selected Lockheed to develop and produce the heavy logistics transport aircraft. The C-5A was powered by four General Electric TF39-GE-1 turbofan engines, each rated at 41,000 pounds of thrust. Intended primarily as a freighter, the aircraft’s maximum takeoff weight was 728,000 pounds; its design payload, 220,000 pounds. On December 17, 1969, the Lockheed C-5A transport was formerly turned over to the U.S. Air Force during ceremonies at Marietta, Ga., where the aircraft was manufactured.
19680630: During fiscal 1968, which ended on this date, the U.S. Weather Bureau transferred responsibility for the Pilot Automatic Telephone Weather Answering Service (PATWAS) to FAA.
Also during this fiscal year, airports to accommodate STOL (short takeoff and landing) aircraft were for the first time included in the National Airport Plan, which covered the years 1967-73. Twenty-five potential STOLports were identified in the eastern megalopolis and along the west coast, both areas of dense traffic deemed a ready market for short-haul operations within and between cities. (See November 5, 1966, and August 5, 1968.)
19690630: Fiscal year 1969, which ended on this date, saw a dramatic increase in Alaskan air activity following the discovery of oil in the Prudhoe Bay area of the state’s North Slope. The Fairbanks Flight Service Station (FSS), for example, experienced a 325 percent rise in flight services performed. On the North Slope itself, services performed by the Point Barrow FSS rose 500 percent during the period, to 17,221, while the number performed by the Bettles FSS rose 87 percent to 16,168. In order to accommodate this traffic, FAA and oil companies drilling in the area collaborated to bolster the air traffic facilities on the Slope. The oil companies built six new airfields, and both FAA and the companies furnished navaids to serve the area. (See March 1, 1968.)
19700630: Forty-seven percent of the adult U.S. population had flown on a scheduled airline, according to a poll taken this month by the Gallup Organization. (See Calendar year 1965.)
19720630: Hurricane Agnes caused river flooding and massive property damage in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York. FAAers throughout the country contributed to a fund to assist their colleagues affected by the storm, and air traffic controllers and other personnel organized an air lift to provide supplies. The Civil Air Patrol, airlines, and the military contributed to the air lift, which expanded from a mission to assist FAA people to include help for thousands of others in the flooded areas.
19750630: The original five-year funding authority of the Airport and Airway Development Act of 1970 lapsed (see May 21, 1970). The Subcommittee on Aviation of the House Committee on Public Works and Transportation had opened hearings in March 1975 on extending the act’s funding authority, but did not report out a bill before the funding cutoff. A proposal by the Senate seeking a 90-day delay of the cutoff failed. (See July 12, 1976)
19750630: FAA received the first of the new ASR-8 airport surveillance radars. Features of the ASR-8 included a dual beam for expanded low-level coverage and a klystron transmitter tube that increased power output. (See August 25, 1960 and September 30, 1983.)
19760630: FAA received delivery of the first prototype microwave landing system (MLS). The program–a high-priority undertaking begun in 1971 and participated in by FAA, DOD, and NASA–was considered a key element of the upgraded third generation air traffic control system (see July 1971). FAA planned to test the prototypes at the National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center, in Atlantic City, and at a NASA base in California. (See July 22, 1975, and March 16, 1977.)
19790630: FAA signed a contract with Western Union Telegraph Company to lease a new telecommunications system for 150 of the busiest flight service stations. The new computer-based equipment featured cathode-ray-tube displays and high-speed printers. It would replace teletypewriters used for Service A transmission of weather and aeronautical information (see January 16, 1961). The lease was to be an interim step, pending implementation of full flight service modernization. (See January 1978 and January 25, 1980.)
19830630: The first Integrated Communications Switching System (ICSS) became operational at Houma, La. ICSS, a flexible voice communications control and switching system, included three versions: Type I (like the Houma system), for small air traffic control towers and terminal radar approach control facilities (TRACONs); Type II, for larger towers and TRACONs; and Type III, for Automated Flight Service Stations. By the end of fiscal 1986, FAA had installed 86 Type I, 15 Type II, and 30 Type III systems.
19880630: In response to legislation, FAA issued a rule expanding requirements for Flight Data Recorders (FDRs) and Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVRs), with compliance by October 11, 1991. The rule required CVRs on all multi-engine, turbine-powered commuter and air taxi aircraft that were able to seat six or more persons and were required to have a two-pilot crew. It mandated FDRs on certain existing and newly manufactured large commuter aircraft. The rule also required large air carriers to upgrade FDRs in certain aircraft possessing the digitial capability to accomodate more advanced devices. In addition, the rule contained CVR/FDR requirements for certain general aviation aircraft with multiple turbine engines. (See July 16, 1996.)
19890630: FAA broke ground for its new high technology training complex in Oklahoma City, named for General Thomas P. Stafford, an astronaut. The agency dedicated the building’s tower cab simulation laboratory on January 25, 1991, then marked the full opening of the Stafford Building with a ceremony on March 11, 1992.
19890630: Admiral James B. Busey (USN, Ret.) became FAA’s eleventh Administrator, succeeding T. Allan McArtor (see July 22, 1987). Busey took the oath a second time in a public ceremony on July 11. The new Administrator had been on active duty with the Navy when President Bush announced his selection on March 17. He retired from the Navy in May, and the Senate confirmed his nomination on June 23. Enactment of Public Law 101-47 exempted him from the legal provision barring active or retired military officers from becoming FAA Administrator.
Born in 1932 in Peoria, Ill., Busey attended the University of Illinois in Urbana, and received a B.S. and master’s in management from the Navy Postgraduate School. During a 37-year career with the Navy, Busey rose from enlisted ranks to become a full admiral. An experienced pilot and a winner of the Navy Cross for combat action in Vietnam, he served as commander of the Naval Aviation System Command while a vice admiral. Busey’s other positions included Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Auditor General of the Navy, and Deputy Chief of Naval Materiel, Resource Management. Prior to becoming FAA Administrator, Busey served for two years as Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces in Southern Europe, a NATO command. He held the post of FAA Administrator for one year and five months. (See November 20, 1991.)
19950630: At the Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center, FAA commissioned the first Voice Switching and Control System, known as VSCS (see October 21, 1986). The project was completed for all 21 en route centers on February 18, 1997, when VSCS became operational at the Jaksonville ARTCC. Meanwhile, on August 8, 1995, FAA had announced a contract with Denro, Inc, to build and install the Enhanced Terminal Voice Switch (ETVS). This system would provide to towers and approach control facilities the same benefits that VSCS gaves to en route centers. On November 1, 1995, FAA commissioned its 100th Small Tower Voice Switch (STVS), a system also produced by Denro.
19980630: FAA established a formal safety risk management policy through Order 8040.4. The new policy provided for a formal, but flexible, approach for managing safety risks associated with high consequence decisions.
20000630: FAA proposed a rule to give the agency access to key safety data from every U.S. airline participating in the Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) program. FAA planned to use this information to identify aviation safety trends and target potential problems. Airlines collected data about everyday safety trends in their operations and would now be required to share the data with FAA. The agency would then use the data to identify industry-wide safety trends, allowing FAA and industry to target resources more effectively to correct potential safety problems. The information and insights provided by these programs could enhance line operational safety, training effectiveness, operational procedures, maintenance and engineering procedures, air traffic control procedures, and airport surface safety. Participation in FOQA was voluntary and programs had to be FAA-approved. The agency would not use FOQA data for enforcement purposes, except in egregious cases. (See June 25, 2001.)
20010630: Mayor Richard Daley announced his proposal for reducing delays and congestion at O’Hare International Airport. Highlights of the proposal included the addition of one new runway and the relocation of three of the current seven runways. According to the city’s estimates, making these changes would reduce delays related to poor weather by 95 percent and overall delays by 79 percent.
20030630: The Department of Transportation Inspector General outlined cost and timetable overruns in most of FAA’s major acquisition programs. The IG raised red flags about large programs such as En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM), a program it considered to be a high-risk effort and one of the largest, most expensive, software-intensive, and complex acquisitions FAA has undertaken. (See March 29, 2002; September 30, 2007.)
20030630: FAA issued the Human Factors Design Standard, a compilation of human factors practices and principles integral to the procurement, design, development, and testing of FAA systems, facilities, and equipment. The guide, which superceded the 1996 Human Factors Design Guide, provided a single easy-to-use source of human factors design criteria, oriented to the needs of the FAA mission and systems.
20040630: FAA announced a $13.5 million contract award to Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) to upgrade the automated system used to ensure the most efficient flow of the nation’s air traffic. Under the traffic flow management modernization contract, CSC would design an advanced computer platform that used air traffic data from across the country to predict when the numbers of flights might exceed available routes and capacity. FAA would use this information both to run special programs designed to reduce delays due to severe weather and congestion and to help airlines to provide more accurate flight departure and arrival information to their passengers.
20040630: The Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center began started using Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP). The new system allowed controllers to reduce separation between aircraft on oceanic routes, and gave pilots greater flexibility to choose their own routes. Oakland was the first of three en route centers handling oceanic operations to use ATOP. (See May 24, 2001; June 23, 2005.)
20050630: FAA directed inspectors to increase oversight of Part 135 operations to ensure that those using a “d/b/a” or “doing-business-as” name were doing so properly and complying with regulations. A five-page notice issued to all Part 135 principal operations inspectors clarified the use of a d/b/a and focused attention on who had operational control of an aircraft. FAA issued the notice to address concerns that arose during the investigation of the Challenger runway overrun accident at Teterboro, New Jersey airport in February 2005.
20060630: FAA delayed until January 1, 2007, proposed changes in aircraft registration policies that would have severely limited the ability of aircraft owners to request “priority service” in connection with declarations of international flights. Citing an increasingly heavy workload and the observation that many operators routinely requested priority service even if it was really not needed, officials at FAA’s aircraft registration organization sought to limit priority handling for international flights to one request per aircraft in any three-month period.
20070630: FAA published the first version of its expanded Operational Evolution Partnership (OEP), which laid out the agency’s path to NextGen through 2025. The OEP, launched in 2001 to improve capacity, was extended in duration as well as broadened in scope to include FAA’s NextGen-related activities. (See June 7, 2001; June 13, 2007.)
20080630: Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell and Antonio Tajani, European Commissioner for Transport, European Commission, signed a safety agreement to further enhance safety cooperation. The agreement
* Provided for reciprocal acceptance of safety findings in aircraft design and manufacturing, continued airworthiness, and repair station oversight;
* Broadened the scope of potential future United States acceptance of European aeronautical products from all member states of the European Union, beyond the current 14 that have individual agreements with the United States;
* Promoted safety and harmonization by providing for regulatory cooperation, particularly in rulemaking, and safety data exchange; and
* Established a bilateral oversight board to manage implementation of the agreement, consult on urgent matters, and provide a forum for discussion of approaches to safety issues.
The agreement would take effect upon an exchange of diplomatic notes, after each party to the agreement had completed ratification procedures and final arrangements regarding fees and charges.
20100630: FAA agreed to classify the Terrafugia Transition flying car, or roadable aircraft, as a Light Sport Aircraft, even though the vehicle was 120 pounds too heavy to qualify for that class. Pilots needed only 20 hours of flight time (just five of it solo) to qualify for a license to fly a Light Sport Aircraft.
20150630: FAA granted a commercial spaceport license to Houston’s Ellington Airport, making it the 10th licensed spaceport in the country. (See September 27, 2014; August 17, 2018.)
20160630: Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced $5.15 million in grants would go to nine small communities to help them improve local air service. The grants were provided through the small community air service development program (SCASDP), which began in 2002 to help small communities address the economic challenges of maintaining local air service. Receiving grants were: Bullhead City, AZ ($750,000); Inyokern, CA ($450,000); Stockton, CA ($650,000); Hailey, ID ($500,000); Billings, MT ($750,000); Missoula, MT ($600,000); Santa Fe, NM ($500,000); Amarillo, TX ($750,000); and Port Angeles, WA ($200,000).
20200630: The European Union announced it would open its borders to the residents of 25 nations. Travelers from the United States, Russia, and Brazil were among those banned from going into the European Union because of the number of COVID-19 cases in those countries.
20210630: FAA, for the first time, used its new Space Data Integrator (SDI) prototype during the SpaceX Transponder 2 launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. SDI automated the delivery of vehicle-related telemetry data to the FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center. The information improved FAA’s situational awareness of where the vehicle was as it travels to space or as it returned to the Earth. In addition to existing tools, FAA used SDI to manage air traffic more efficiently and address contingencies in the event of an anomaly during a mission.