This Day in FAA History: July 11th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19340711: The Federal Aviation Commission, appointed by President Roosevelt in accordance with section 20 of the Air Mail Act of 1934 (see June 12, 1934), held its first meeting. The members were: Clark Howell, editor in chief of the Atlanta Constitution and a member of the National Transportation Committee of 1932; Edward P. Warner, a leading aeronautical engineer and the former first Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Aeronautics; Albert J. Berres, a labor relations expert; Jerome C. Hunsaker, a former naval officer with executive experience in civil aviation business enterprises; and Franklin K. Lane, a lawyer with both Army and Navy aviation experience. The Commission’s Secretary was J. Carroll Cone, Director of Air Regulation, Bureau of Air Commerce. The Commission’s assignment was to make “an immediate study and survey” and to recommend “a broad policy covering all phases of aviation and the relation of the United States thereto.” (See January 22, 1935.)
19380711: The British Empire led the world in miles covered by air route operations (80,000), according to an annual report on civil aviation published this date. The runner-up was the United States, with 63,000 miles. France had 38,750; Germany, 31,900; Italy, 19,450; and Holland, 19,000.
19400711: The Senate confirmed Col. Donald H. Connolly, U.S. Army, as the first Administrator of Civil Aeronautics, following President Roosevelt’s reorganization of the Civil Aeronautics Authority. Clinton M. Hester, who had served as the Administrator in the Authority (see July 7, 1938), had resigned to enter private law practice.
Educated at the University of California and at West Point, from which he graduated in 1910, Connolly had served in the Corps of Engineers since leaving the Military Academy. He had had previous executive experience in civilian government as Director of the Civil Works Administration in Los Angeles in 1934 and as Administrator of the Works Progress Administration for Southern California from 1935 to 1939. During the year and a half immediately preceding his assignment to CAA, he had commanded the Second Engineers, U.S. Army. (See July 20, 1942.)
19440711: CAB issued a report concluding that an experiment in providing short-haul and local scheduled air service should be conducted. The experiment involved the establishment of a new airline category, known as “feeder” or “local service” carriers. On August 1, 1945, Essair (later known as Pioneer Air Lines until merged into Continental on April 1, 1955) became the first airline to fly under the new classification, operating with a temporary certificate. Not until May 19, 1955, did legislation provide for permanent certification of local service carriers. (Later legislation extended permanent certification in 1956 to local service carriers in Alaska and Hawaii and in 1957 to certain carriers operating between Alaska and the United States.) In 1970, the local service category included nine airlines carrying 27 million passengers annually. By that time, the local service airlines had begun referring to themselves as “regionals,” a term later adopted by the commuter airlines (see July 1, 1969) and also used by CAB as part of a system that categorized airlines by their revenue levels (see October 2, 1980).
19460711: CAA grounded the Lockheed L-049 Constellation immediately following a crash that killed four of the five crew members of a TWA plane near the airline’s training base at Reading, Pa. This was the most recent in a series of accidents involving fires in the Constellation’s engines. CAA ordered modifications, mainly to the plane’s electrical system and power plants, and the 58 grounded aircraft returned to service on August 24.
19470711: The House Subcommittee of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, chaired by Representative Carl Hinshaw (R-Calif.), submitted a report recommending creation of a single instrument landing system to safely and economically serve the requirements of both commerce and national defense simultaneously. Addressing the controversy regarding the merits of CAA’s Instrument Landing System, known (ILS) and the military’s Ground Control Approach (GCA) system, the committee recommended that CAA stop installation of additional ILS equipment. The committee suggested further that the United States proceed with the development of an instrument landing system satisfactory for fully automatic landing, and that the most modern GCA be installed at selected airports. Congress endorsed the report through its Aviation Policy Board in March 1948, and recommended, through the Board, that the “single system” program be undertaken.
Meanwhile, on July 15, 1947, CAA Administrator Theodore Wright had announced a new civil-military instrument landing system policy. ILS would remain the primary CAA landing aid, but the agency would supplement ILS at busy airports with an element of GCA designated precision approach radar (PAR), along with airport surveillance radar. The Air Force, however, would still rely primarily on GCA, using ILS for heavy planes and as a backup to GCA. (See March 30, 1947, and February 4, 1949.)
19500711: The air forces of the United States and Canada concluded a two-day conference on which they agreed to the erection of the Pinetree radar network on Canadian soil. Also on July 11, CAA and the U.S. Air Force formed the Air Defense Planning Board to plan for civil participation in air defense.
19580711: Congress removed the ceiling of $14 million (see September 7, 1950) for the construction of a second Washington airport. On August 1, 1958, the U.S. Government took official possession of the 8,200- acre Washington international airport site at Chantilly, Va. Construction on what was eventually to become Dulles International Airport began the following month. (See January 16, 1958, and July 15, 1959.)
19660711: A joint planning document effective on this date set forth the responsibilities of FAA and DOD in developing plans and procedures for using non-air-carrier civil aircraft to support civil defense during a national emergency.
19690711: DOT consolidated the Washington Headquarters libraries of FAA, the Coast Guard, and the Federal Highway Administration and established the Department of Transportation Library. A service branch, primarily containing aviation-related materials, was located in FAA’s Washington Headquarters’ building.
19730711: An in-flight cabin fire originating in a lavatory area killed 123 persons aboard a Boeing 707 operated by the Brazilian airline Yarig as the aircraft neared Paris. In partial response to NTSB recommendations following the tragedy, FAA ordered periodic inspections of lavatory trash receptacles to ensure fire containment capability, as well as preflight briefings and other steps aimed at preventing passengers from smoking in lavatories. (See June 2, 1983, and June 19, 1984)
20010711: In a report to Congress, FAA’s new Management Advisory Council (MAC) concluded that the agency’s rulemaking process was inefficient, lacked credibility, and unless fixed, would erode the safety, security, and efficiency of the aviation system. The MAC, however, was only one of a number of groups that had recently faulted FAA’s rulemaking process. GAO, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association, and organized labor echoed the MAC’s findings. The MAC found that FAA took an average of five years to complete rules, and, at its current pace, would not be able to finish all of the rules currently being developed for 15 years. It also criticized FAA’s cost/benefit analyses, inadequate staffing and management accountability within FAA, and inefficiencies in the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee process.
20110711: The United States and Macedonia reached an Open-Skies aviation agreement, which allowed airlines of the two countries to select routes, destinations and prices for both passenger and cargo service based on consumer demand and market conditions. It was the first aviation agreement between the two countries, and was the 103rd U.S. open skies agreement. (See April 18, 2011; December 5, 2011.)
20200711: Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization said “a misaligned missile battery, miscommunication between troops and their commanders, and a decision to fire without authorization led to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shooting down a Ukrainian jetliner in January, killing all 176 people on board.” (See January 8, 2020.)
20210711: Virgin founder Richard Branson soared more than 50 miles above the New Mexico desert aboard a Virgin Galactic rocket plane and safely returned in the vehicle’s first fully crewed test flight to space. (See May 22, 2021; September 2, 2021.)
20230711: FAA announced nearly $92 million in investments to help airports reach the president’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050. As part of almost $268 million in grants, about $92 million went to 21 airports for solar panels, electric buses, charging stations, and electrification studies. As a part of this sustainability effort, the agency also provided funding to help general aviation airports safely transition to unleaded fuel for piston-engine aircraft. (See June 15, 2022.)