This Day in FAA History: July 1st

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19270701: Frank Gates Gardner of Norfolk, Va., received the first Federal aircraft mechanic license.
19270701: The Secretary of Commerce appointed Clarence M. Young as Director of Aeronautics to administer the Aeronautics Branch under the general supervision of the Assistant Secretary for Aeronautics. A lawyer from Des Moines, Iowa, Young had served as a pilot on the Italian front in World War I and was later active in civil aeronautics. (See October 1, 1929.)
19270701: The transcontinental airway was transferred to the Department of Commerce from the Post Office Department. Extending from New York to San Francisco, the airway was 2,612 miles long, with 2,041 miles lighted (see January 29, 1929). Its facilities included 92 intermediate landing fields, 101 electric beacons, and 417 acetylene beacons. Also included were 17 radio stations (see March 1, 1960). Personnel involved in the transfer included 45 radio operators, 14 maintenance mechanics, and 84 caretakers. At the same time, the Post Office relinquished air mail operations along the western section–Chicago to San Francisco–of the transcontinental route to Boeing Air Transport.
19280701: The Commerce Department began using teletype machines to transmit aviation weather information. Among the first airport stations to receive teletypes were those at Hadley Field, N.J., Cleveland, Ohio, Chicago, Ill., and Concord, Calif. Those units were all connected with the central office at Washington, D.C., from which data were exchanged for all locations. By October 1938, the teletype weather communications system had been extended to a total of 21,790 miles, covering all 48 states except Maine, New Hampshire, and South Dakota.
19290701: The first issue of the Air Commerce Bulletin, the official journal of the Aeronautics Branch, was published, superseding the Domestic Air News. (See December 18, 1926, and January 15, 1940.)
19300701: Rules governing the use of intermediate landing fields and a parachute supplement to the Air Commerce Regulations went into effect.
19310701: With Harold Gatty as navigator, Wiley Post piloted a Lockhead Vega dubbed Winnie Mae around the world, flying from Roosevelt Field, N.Y., and back with eight stopovers. Post’s course took him near the Arctic Circle, and his distance of 15,447 miles was too short to qualify as a roundthe-world flight as defined by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. His time of 8 days 15 hours 51 minutes was nevertheless far below the record set by the Graf Zepplin (see August 8-29, 1929), and he received great popular acclaim. During July 15-22, 1933, Post flew Winnie Mae in what is often regarded as the first solo flight around the world. He traveled from Floyd Bennett Field, N.Y. and back in 7 days 18 hours 49 minutes, following a course similar to his 1931 trip. (See July 10-14, 1938.)
19310701: United Air Lines was formally established as a management company coordinating four component air carriers that had already begun operating as a single entity. United was one of domestic aviation’s “Big Four,” which also included Eastern Air Transport, American Airways, and Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA).
19330701: The Commerce Department’s Aeronautics Branch assumed sole responsibility for constructing and maintaining airways, ending the arrangement under which the Airways Division was structurally part of the Bureau of Lighthouses. Under the Aeronautics Branch, the number of districts in which this function was organized was reduced from eight to six.
19330701: The Douglas DC-1, a forerunner of the famed DC-3, made its first flight. Transcontinental and Western Air (TWA) purchased the only one of these monoplanes built by Douglas. The DC-2, an improved version of the DC-1, made its maiden flight on May 11, 1934, and promptly went into service with TWA. CAA type-certificated the plane on June 29, 1934.
19340701: The name of the Aeronautics Branch was changed to Bureau of Air Commerce. At the same time, the title of the Director of Aeronautics was changed to Director of Air Commerce. The new name more accurately reflected the duties of the organization, which enjoyed the status of a bureau but had not been so designated. Also by this date there were no longer any major aeronautical functions that were structurally part of other Commerce Department bureaus.
19370701: The Bureau of Air Commerce launched a two-year comprehensive airways modernization and extension program, allocating five million dollars to modernize the existing airways, and $2 million to extend the airways system. Under the program, the Bureau converted the existing airway broadcast and radio range stations to the simultaneous system of transmission in which a pilot could receive radio range signals and radiotelephone information on weather conditions at the same time. By the end of fiscal 1938, six simultaneous-transmission stations had been completed, with the remaining 159 scheduled for completion at the rate of 12 to 15 per month. (See September 5, 1935, and May 1, 1939.) This program followed a period of several years during which stringent curtailment of funds had brought development of the nation’s airways to a virtual standstill.
19380701: The Bureau of Air Commerce created a new field organization that decentralized administrative authority. The Bureau abolished the nine general inspection districts and the six airway districts and consolidated their functions into seven regional offices headquartered at Kansas City (Mo.), Los Angeles, Newark, Atlanta, Chicago, Fort Worth, and Seattle. Each region was placed under the general direction of a regional manager responsible for a host of matters that had previously been the province of Washington officials. The reorganization was in line with the recommendations of the President’s Committee on Administrative Management, headed by Louis Brownlow (January 1, 1937), which had urged the decentralization of the Washington departments along geographical lines and the creation of regional units to cover all parts of the United States to carry out “more and more of the administrative work.” In that way, the committee stated, government would be brought closer to the people. When the Civil Aeronautics Authority began operations it retained the Bureau’s newly decentralized field organization. (See August 1, 1941.)
19450701: CAA reduced the minimum age requirement for a private pilot license from 18 to 17 years. Application for a student pilot certificate could be made at age 16. Any applicant under age 21 was required to submit the written consent of a parent or guardian. At the same time, CAA also lowered the flying time necessary for a private license from 43 to 40 hours for conventional planes and 30 to 27 hours for nonspin type planes. (See April 18, 1939, and May 1, 1967.)
19480701: New amendments to the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 became effective which authorized CAB to delegate to the CAA Administrator certain of its safety rulemaking and accident investigating functions; removed the restriction that air navigation facilities be established only on airports and along civil airways; and redefined and clarified a number of administrative and investigative responsibilities of the Administrator.
19520701: All CAA facilities and services were scheduled to begin using knots and nautical miles on this date, establishing a single military-civilian standard measurement for speed and distance used in air navigation. The change had been announced in the CAA Journal on August 15, 1950.
19530701: CAA moved its medical research function to the Civil Aeromedical Research Laboratory (CAMRL), established on the campus of the Ohio State University School of Medicine. On June 30, 1958, CAMRL moved back to the Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City, by order of CAA Administrator James T. Pyle.
19580701: The Airways Modernization Board established the National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center (NAFEC) near Atlantic City, N.J. The fledgling Federal Aviation Agency assumed all functions of the Board, including control of NAFEC, on November 1, 1958 (see that date). Beginning in early 1959, the Technical Development Center that CAA had operated in Indianapolis was gradually deactivated, and many of its resources, functions, and personnel were transferred to NAFEC during that year.
19590701: A new safety rule became effective requiring that holders of first class medical certificates– airline transport pilots–must submit to an annual electrocardiogram.
19600701: Effective this date, 5 additional megacycles of radio frequencies were allocated for FAA air traffic control communications. This was the first increase in the VHF radio spectrum allocated for communications in the common air traffic system since October 1946. The additional 5 megacycles (126.825 to 128.825 and 132.025 to 135.0) added 100 channels to the air traffic control system.
19610701: An extensive reorganization of the Federal Aviation Agency began. Termed “evolutionary” and keyed to a revised concept of Washington-field relationships, the reorganization was intended to strengthen agency management by centralizing development of programs, policies, and standards in Washington and delegating broad operational responsibilities to regional offices. The seven regional offices would be headed by assistant administrators responsible for the executive direction of all FAA programs in the field within the framework of the national guidelines established by Washington. To assist the Administrator in the overall management of specific functional areas, the posts of Deputy Administrator for Plans and Development and Deputy Administrator for Administration were established. In an earlier action, the FAA Administrator had named Alan L. Dean, formerly Assistant Administrator for Management Services, as the new Deputy Administrator for Administration. The following April, Robert J. Shank, an engineer-executive from private industry, was selected to head the redesignated post of Deputy Administrator for Development. The statutory Deputy Administrator was to serve as general manager of the agency’s operations, coordinating the activities of the regional offices and the operating programs in Washington. James T. Pyle, former CAA Administrator and Deputy Administrator under Quesda, would continue to occupy this post until his resignation in October 1961. General Harold W. Grant was selected as the new Deputy Administrator in February 1962. Except for the Bureau of National Capital Airports, all of the former bureaus and the Office of International Coordination were redesignated as services, each headed by a director. Other changes involved the former Budget Division of the Office of Management Services, which became the Office of Budget.
19610701: FAA, with the cooperation of the U.S. Weather Bureau, inaugurated pilot-to-forecaster weather service as a test program in the Washington, D.C., and Kansas City areas. The service allowed pilots to request weather information via a special radio frequency.
19610701: FAA commissioned the Balboa (C.Z.) air route traffic control center.
19630701: FAA established the Office of Headquarters Operations, consolidating under a single managerial responsibility the personnel, accounting, data processing, and other administrative and support services required by FAA’s Washington headquarters.
19630701: AN FAA safety rule requiring distance-measuring equipment (DME) on all airline turbojets and on all other civil aircraft flying instrument flight rules (IFR) above 24,000 feet in the contiguous 48 States went into effect. (See June 15, 1961, and September 18, 1965.) FAA stated that the rule would be extended to Alaska and Hawaii when the necessary ground equipment became available in those States. The agency extended the rule to all air carrier aircraft operating IFR, regardless of altitude, beginning with turboprops on January 1, 1964; pressurized piston-engine airplanes on July 1, 1964; and other planes having a maximum takeoff weight above 12,500 pounds on July 1, 1965.
19640701: Continuing its consolidation of air route traffic control centers, FAA decommissioned the St. Louis center and transferred its functions to the Kansas City center. The agency subsequently decommissioned the Detroit center on July 5 (transferring it responsibilities to the Cleveland center) and the Phoenix center on August 20 (transferring responsibilities to the Albuquerque center).
19650701: General William F. McKee (USAF, Ret.) became the third FAA Administrator, succeeding Najeeb E. Halaby (see March 3, 1961). President Johnson had announced his selection of McKee on April 27, but did not submit his name for Senate confirmation until Congress passed special legislation exempting the general from a provision of the Federal Aviation Act that required the Administrator to be a civilian. This legislation cleared Congress on June 22, after prolonged debate. Johnson formally nominated McKee on June 23, and the Senate confirmed the nomination on June 30.
Born in Chilhowie, Va., in 1906, “Bozo” McKee graduated from West Point in 1929. He began his career with the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps, but transferred in 1942 to the Army Air Forces. McKee received his first star in 1945. The following year, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Air Transport Command. In 1947, when the Air Force became a separate service, McKee became Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, Air Force, a position held for six years. He was serving as Commander of the Air Force Logistics Command when selected for the Vice Chief of Staff post, the second highest military position in the Air Force. At the time he received his fourth star, he was the only Air Force officer to have attained that rank without holding an aeronautical rating. Upon his retirement from the military in 1964, he joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as Assistant Administrator for Management Development.
The selection of McKee to head FAA was linked to the need for an experienced executive to oversee the development of the U.S. supersonic transport (see July 1, 1965, entry on this topic, below). He served as Administrator for three years and one month (see July 31, 1968).
19650701: David D. Thomas became FAA’s Deputy Administrator. Thomas was FAA’s Associate Administrator for Programs when President Johnson selected him for the new post. He succeeded Lt. Gen. Harold W. Grant (see February 21, 1962), who had resigned the previous day. (Grant was barred from serving under Gen. McKee, because the Federal Aviation Act prohibited the filling of the Deputy Administrator’s post with a military officer on active duty, a retired regular officer, or a former regular officer if the Administrator himself is a former regular officer.)
A career civil servant, Thomas began his Federal service in 1938 as an air traffic controller with the Civil Aeronautics Authority in the Pittsburgh air route traffic control center. After a number of other field assignments, Thomas came to CAA headquarters in 1946, serving successively as Deputy Chief of the International Services Office, Chief of CAA’s Planning Staff, and Deputy Director, Office of Federal Airways. Following the breakup of the Office of Federal Airways in 1956, he was elevated to Director, Office of Air Traffic Control. With the creation of FAA in 1958, he became Director, Bureau of Air Traffic Management. In 1961, after an FAA administrative reorganization, he became Director, Air Traffic Service, the position he was holding when selected, in 1963, to be Associate Administrator for Programs.
Thomas served as Acting Administrator between the tenures of Administrators McKee and Shaffer (see July 31, 1968, and March 24, 1969). He then continued as Deputy Administrator until retiring from Federal service on February 15, 1970.
19650701: President Johnson announced that the supersonic transport (SST) development program would move into Phase IIC, an 18-month detailed design phase costing approximately $220 million. The President’s decision, which was made known during General William F. McKee’s swearing-in as FAA Administrator, was based on the recommendations of the President’s Advisory Committee on Supersonic Transport.
The decision postponed prototype development and fabrication for at least 18 months, prolonging the program’s competitive phase by retaining the two airframe competitors (Boeing and Lockheed) and the two engine competitors (General Electric and Pratt & Whitney) selected in 1964. Unlike the previous design phases, however, Phase IIC was not purely a “paper” competition. The airframe manufacturers would construct full-scale mock-ups, and the engine manufacturers would build and test full-scale demonstrator engines.
The President enumerated four primary objectives of the new competitive design phase: (1) to provide a sound foundation for realistic estimates of operating performance and production costs; (2) to take advantage of the flight experience of the SR-71, the XB-70, and the variable swept-wing F-111; (3) to reduce developmental risks and developmental costs, while retaining the capacity to accelerate the program in its later phases; (4) and to provide a better basis for judgment as to the manner in which the program should proceed after the 18-month period. The President asked Congress for $140 million to initiate the 18-month program. (See May 20, 1964, and December 31, 1966.)
19650701: A new communications system linking virtually every non-Communist airline in the world went into operation. Known as the Electronic Switching System, it was connected to the interline teletype transmission systems of major U.S. airlines and foreign carriers serving the United States. All interline teletype communications involving reservations and internal administrative messages automatically were directed to a computer in Chicago, which scanned the messages for correctness and electronically forwarded them to the proper airline.
19660701: The Slick Corporation ceased air transport operations, transferring most of its assetts to Airlift International. The company had begun flying on March 4, 1946, under the name Slick Airways. It had become the nation’s largest all-cargo commercial airline by 1951, but had encountered difficulties as passenger airlines increasingly competed for air freight.
19670701: Pacific Northern Airlines merged into Western Air Lines.
19680701: FAA implemented Project 85, a general aviation accident prevention program, for a two-year trial in the Central and Southwest Regions. Under the program, an accident-prevention specialist at each general aviation district office was to stimulate and focus cooperation of the aviation public, the aviation industry, and the government agencies toward a substantial reduction in general aviation accidents. (See November 30, 1970.)
19680701: Effective this date, FAA included on its list of emergency procedures the dropping of chaff by pilots experiencing a communications failure or wishing for any other reason to declare an in-flight emergency. The chaff (strips of tinfoil or other radio-wave-reflecting material) would cause radar echoes to attract the attention of air traffic controllers.
19680701: FAA transferred the Aeromedical Education Division from the Office of Aviation Medicine, FAA Headquarters, Washington, D.C., to FAA’s Aeronautical Center, Oklahoma City, Okla.
19690701: Effective this date, CAB selected “commuter air carrier” as its name for certain scheduled air taxi operators (see Calendar Year 1968). The new title “commuter” applied to an air taxi operator that performed at least five round trips per week between two or more points and published flight schedules giving certain specified information, or transported air mail under a current contract. There were 138 commuter operators in 1969, and an average of 180 during the 1970s. The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 encouraged the commuter airlines, which gained opportunities as many larger operators dropped service that they had been required to supply to smaller communities. By 1981, an estimated 270 commuter airlines were operating in the contiguous United States. Like the local service airlines before them (see July 11, 1944), the commuters began referring to themselves as “regionals” as they grew more prominent. The term “regionals” was also part of a revenue-based classification system adopted by CAB on October 2, 1980 (see that date). (See September 17, 1972.)
19700701: All Department of Transportation internal audit functions were consolidated in the Office of the Secretary. FAA’s internal audit functions were directed to take guidance and direction from the Department’s Director of Audit.
19700701: All Department of Transportation public information functions were consolidated in the Office of the Secretary. FAA’s Office of Public Affairs was directed to take guidance and direction from the Department’s Director of Public Affairs.
19700701: FAA discontinued the Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) code which had been in use for 31 years, substituting contracted English. This freed pilots and Flight Service Station specialists from encoding and decoding information transmitted on teletype circuits.
19710701: The production model of the Cessna Citation first flew. In February 1972, FAA type-certificated this 8-seat, pressurized, executive turbofan aircraft.
19710701: FAA’s first modular airport traffic control tower went into operation, at the Owensboro-Davies County (Ky.) Airport. The prefabricated tower, designed primarily for low traffic activity airports, was erected at the airport in a matter of weeks. The tower was equipped with solid state communications equipment.
19720701: FAA transferred responsibility for its Management Training School from the Office of Training to the Aeronautical Center. (See May 3, 1971.)
19720701: New Federal Aviation Regulations (Part 152) prescribing policies and procedures for administering FAA’s Airport Development Aid Program (ADAP) and Planning Grant Program (PGP) went into effect. The new rule included provisions concerning the economic, social, and environmental effects of airport expansion or site selection, as required by the legislation that had established the two programs (see May 21, 1970). FAA required coordination with state, local, and regional agencies on proposed airport construction projects, as well as public hearings on each project.
19760701: The principal provisions of FAA’s hazardous materials rules became incorporated into the regulations of DOT’s Materials Transportation Bureau. The change resulted from legislation that gave the Secretary of Transportation increased regulatory and enforcement authority over the movement of hazardous materials in all the transportation modes (see January 3, 1975). DOT had accordingly established the Materials Transportation Bureau, and transferred the authority for regulation of hazardous materials from the various administrations, including FAA, to the new Bureau (see September 23, 1977).
19790701: Southern Airways and North Central Airlines merged to form Republic Airlines, which in turn acquired Hughes Air West on October 1, 1980. (See January 23, 1986.)
19850701: A toll-free FAA Aviation Safety Hotline began operations. Coordinated by the Office of Aviation Safety, the hotline was intended primarily for those in the aviation industry with specific knowledge of Federal Aviation Regulations violations. Callers’ identities would be held in confidence and protected from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. During the following month, an FAA Consumer Hotline also opened, initially in one region only but expanding to nationwide operations on September 2, 1986. The Consumer Hotline was for use by the public to inquire or lodge complaints about aviation safety issues or FAA user services. The hotline did not handle airline service issues, such as lost luggage or flight cancellations. When such problems were not resolved by the airlines hemselves, consumers were referred to DOT’s Office of Community and Consumer Affairs.
19870701: AirCal merged into American Airlines. AirCal had begun flying in January 1967 as an intrastate carrier called Air California, then expanded to destinations outside the state in 1978. The airline had adopted the name AirCal in 1981.
19910701: Piper Aircraft Corporation filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.
19910701: The first of two Mode S production systems was delivered to the Technical Center in preparation for formal acceptance of this new radar beacon ground interrogator system, 137 of which were to be implemented in the airspace system. (See October 5, 1984, and July 30, 1992.)
19910701: A new Braniff International Airlines began scheduled service. Legally a different entity from the earlier Braniff (see September 28, 1989), the small new airline flew for only a few weeks before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on August 7, 1991. It ceased operations on July 2, 1992.
19960701: The United States adopted, with some modifications, an international system for reporting surface weather observations and terminal forecasts for aviation use.
19970701: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), reporting on a commuter plane collision in which most passengers survived the impact but died in a subsequent fire, recommended that FAA find ways to fund fire and rescue protection at small airports served by small planes. NTSB said the collision of a United Express Beechcraft 1900 with a private twin-engine Beechcraft King Air at Quincy, Illinois, on November 19 took place because the pilots of the King Air failed to monitor properly a common radio frequency on which the United Express pilot repeatedly reported her position and intention to land. Although finding the King Air crew primarily responsible, NTSB presented a list of other safety issues, including a radio transmission by a novice pilot that probably confused the United Express crew, the inability of surviving passengers to open jammed emergency exits, and a lack of fire and rescue capability at Quincy.
20020701: FAA announced that flight service station specialists in Anderson, South Carolina, had begun using the Operational and Supportability Implementation System (OASIS), part of the agency’s program to modernize 61 automated flight service stations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The stations provided in-flight planning and up-to-date weather information to general aviation pilots. OASIS consisted of commercial-off-the- shelf hardware and software to combine weather, flight plan, and aeronautical database information within a single system. (See August 25, 1997.)
20020701: FAA announced it had completed the technical and economic evaluations of alternative ADS-B technologies and decided that ADS-B would use a combination of the 1090 MHz extended squitter ADS-B link for air carrier and private/commercial operators of high performance aircraft, and the Universal Access Transceiver ADS-B link for the typical general aviation user. ADS-B airborne systems would transmit an aircraft’s identity, position, velocity, and intent to other aircraft and to air traffic control systems on the ground, allowing for common situational awareness to all appropriately equipped users of the national airspace system. (See April 1, 2002; August 30, 2007.)
20090701: FAA awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. a contract for the first U.S. installation of low-cost ground surveillance (LCGS) systems designed to help manage airport surface traffic. The contract was for an initial LCGS system at the Reno, NV, airport and included options for additional airports. (See January 15, 2009; December 1- 3, 2009.)
20100701: FAA awarded a license to the state of Florida to operate Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 46 for commercial use. (May 2010; August 3, 2010.)
20100701: FAA, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) introduced the Partnership for Safety program to identify safety issues before incidents or accidents occur by seeking input from employees.
20110701: FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) announced agreement on a number of fatigue recommendations developed by a joint FAA-NATCA working group. The agreement reinforced existing FAA policy that prohibited air traffic controllers from sleeping while performing assigned duties. FAA and NATCA also agreed all air traffic controllers must report for work well-rested and mentally alert. As a result of this agreement, air traffic controllers could now request leave if too fatigued to work air traffic. (See April 17, 2011.)
20110701: FAA revoked the operating certificate of Bimini Island Air. The Fort Lauderdale-based on-demand operator surrendered its certificate on July 1 after an emergency order of revocation was issued the previous month.
20160701: FAA announced expansion of the part of its pathfinder program that focused on detecting and identifying UASs flying too close to airports. FAA signed cooperative research and development agreements (CRDAs) with Gryphon Sensors, Liteye Systems Inc., and Sensofusion. The CRDAs with Gryphon, Liteye and Sensofusion expanded upon collaborative efforts with industry to develop system standards to identify unauthorized UAS flights near airports, which could pose a hazard to manned aircraft. (See May 4, 2016; August 2, 2016.)
20200701: The Department of Transportation banned Pakistan International Airlines from flying into United States for six months after it was revealed that about a third of its pilots were flying with “inaccuracies with their licenses.” (See May 22, 2020; July 13, 2020.)
20200701: FAA issued SAFO 20011, “Operations in Oceanic Airspace During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.” The SAFO advised flightcrews of the potential loss of air traffic control services in the event of an oceanic ATC facility shutdown and recommended mitigating procedures.
20210701: FAA implemented an alternative air traffic procedure for arrivals to Runway 19 at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. The procedure used satellite-based technology to guide a mix of aircraft along a pathway that generally followed New Jersey State Route 17 to Runway 19 at Teterboro Airport. The alternative procedure did not replace the existing conventional instrument approach which remained the preferred approach for Runway 19. FAA developed the procedure at the request of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Teterboro Airport Noise Abatement Advisory Committee. The procedure provided a viable alternative approach to Runway 19 that helped reduce the number of aircraft flying over the Hackensack University Medical Center and the surrounding residential areas.
20220701: FAA awarded $371 million in AIP funds for safety, airfield, and improvement projects at 169 airports in 40 states.