This Day in FAA History: January 8th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19600108: The New York Times reported that Pan American World Airways had put into operation near Shannon, Ireland, the first unit in a planned worldwide radio transmission system using the “forward scatter” technique. This was the first such very-high-frequency ground station to be put into operation by an airline.
19620108: FAA established an Agency Regulatory Council to facilitate rulemaking and to insure the implementation of the Administrator’s rulemaking policies. The agency also established the position of Executive Director to provide full-time management for the Council.


This Day in FAA History: January 7th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19520107: CAA inaugurated radar departure control procedures at the Washington air route traffic control center. Use of radar for approach began July 1, 1952.
19590107: The Federal Aviation Agency began an extensive air traffic survey covering all segments of U.S. aviation–air carrier, military, and general aviation. Goals of the survey were to develop estimates of air activity through 1980 and to formulate a scientific method of forecasting air activity. FAA’s sampling of a period having the lowest level of air activity was followed in July and August by a second survey providing data on the summer peak.
19690107: FAA imposed additional airworthiness standards for small airplanes used in air taxi operations under Special Federal Aviation Regulation 23, effective this date. The standards applied to piston-powered and turboprop airplanes weighing 12,500 pounds or less and capable of carrying more than 10 occupants, including the flightcrew. (See September 7, 1964, and December 1, 1978.)


This Day in FAA History: January 6th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19420106: Pan American Airways Pacific Clipper landed at New York, the first commercial airplane to circle the globe, exclusive of the continental United States. The aircraft had left San Francisco on December 2, 1941, and was operating in the South Pacific when the Pearl Harbor attack forced it to return to home territory by flying west.
19600106: A National Airlines DC-6B crashed near Bolivia, N.C., killing 34 passengers and crew. The Civil Aeronautics Board accident investigation revealed that the plane had disintegrated in flight as a result of a dynamite explosion. Bomb fragments were found imbedded in the body of passenger Julian Frank, who, in the preceding year, had taken out more than a million dollars in life insurance.


This Day in FAA History: January 5th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19520105: Using Douglas DC-6As, Pan American World Airways inaugurated the first all-cargo air service across the North Atlantic.
19720105: Betty C. Dillon, a career civil servant, became the first woman to be sworn in as Minister of the U.S. Government to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
19990105: FAA announced it would revise the implementation schedule for the Wide Area Augmentation System to allow more time to complete development of a critical software safety package that would monitor, correct, and verify the performance of the system.


This Day in FAA History: January 4th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19590104: A published report described the successful use of Doppler navigation techniques in aerial explorations for oil in remote areas.
19650104: Under a rule effective this date, FAA required approved survivor lights on all life preservers and liferafts carried by U.S. air carriers and other large commercial aircraft flying more than 50 miles from shore, to assist in the rescue of passengers in the event of a night ditching. (See January 28, 1966.)
19830104: Effective this date, FAA increased the minimum qualifications for air traffic controllers who provide on-the-job training (OJT).


This Day in FAA History: January 3rd

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19360103: Executives of scheduled U.S. airlines met in Chicago to form the Air Transport Association of America as a separate trade association for air carriers. Until the end of 1935, the founding airlines had belonged to the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce (see Calendar Year 1945). The new Association’s first president was Edgar S. Gorrell, whose effective lobbying was soon to play an important role in the passage of the Civil Aeronautics Act (see June 23, 1938). Gorrell served until 1945, and was succeded by: Emory S. Land, 1946-53; Earl D. Johnson, 1954-55; Harold L. Pearson, 1955; Stuart E. Tipton, 1955-72; Paul R. Ignatius, 1972-84; Norman J. Phillion, 1985; William S. Bolger, 1986-88; Robert J. Aaronson, 1989-92; and James E. Landry, who began serving in 1992.
19500103: Pan American Airways changed its name to Pan American World Airways. Nine days later, on January 12, the company completed its round-the-world radio-telephone communications system, which the Civil Aeronautics Administration had approved for air-ground operations.


This Day in FAA History: January 2nd

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19740102: Public Law 93-239, enacted on this date, extended the deadline for installation of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) in certain types of aircraft from December 30, 1973, to June 30, 1974. The law also added certain new categories of operation, such as flights incident to design and testing, to the list of exceptions to the ELT requirement. (See December 29, 1970, and March 16, 1978.)
19970102: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an airworthiness directive requiring operators to adopt procedures enabling the flight crew to reestablish control of a Boeing 737 experiencing an uncommanded yaw or roll – the phenomenon believed to have brought down USAir Flight 427 at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1994.


This Day in FAA History: January 1st

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19320101: The first Air Commerce Regulations governing gliders and gliding became effective.
19350101: The Bureau of Air Commerce announced a new policy for the classification of airports, under which only those airports serving scheduled interstate airlines would be examined for compliance with its requirements.
19380101: An Airport Traffic Control Section was created in the Airways Operation Division of the Bureau of Air Commerce. The new section was to standardize airport control tower equipment, operation techniques, and personnel. Forty airport control tower operators had been certificated by June 30, 1938.


KAPA & KBJC: Updated Monthly Operations Data

A new month is approaching, and residents along the Front Range are continuing to be heavily impacted by excessive flight training.

In the last decade, there has been a big push for consolidation of flight schools. Private Equity is investing in these businesses, and making extra profits by concentrating activities to just a few airports. So, if you happen to live near an airport that draws its students from across the nation and even from Asia and Europe, FAA and industry players feel this is just your poor luck. The schools (and elite investors) are happy, and FAA does a great job enabling this concentrated abuse, while staying mum and not advocating for any balance or mitigation or justice.

This year, is proving to be horribly impactful for people near two towered airports south and west of Denver: Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC), and Centennial Airport (KAPA). This Post provides the latest compilations of monthly operations data for each airport, from January 2017 through September 2023. October’s data is not available until late November, due to FAA delays in sharing data they are fed by all towers every night; also delayed if your local airport authority refuses to get the data from the local tower, and share it ahead of important meetings. So, when monthly airport meetings come up, those concerned citizens who attend are handicapped for lack of current and timely data.

Wouldn’t it be nice if FAA advocated on behalf of the resident population, by urging (or even requiring, as an obligation to receive federal grant monies?) airport authorities to post timely data online ASAP, ahead of events where citizens can engage? Wouldn’t it be nice….

For KAPA, the September 2023 operations changes (versus September 2022) are:

  • Itinerant: down 2%
  • Local: up 41%
  • TOTAL OPS: up 17%

For KBJC, the September 2023 operations changes (versus September 2022) are:

  • Itinerant: up 15%
  • Local: up 9%
  • TOTAL OPS: up 11%

Click on this link to download the KAPA ops data, or this link for the KBJC ops data.

20231030.. ATADS monthly 2017-2023 cn42KAPA
20231030.. ATADS monthly 2017-2023 cn42KBJC
Scroll over the PDF above to activate the PDF viewer controls at the bottom; page-scroll with the arrows in the bottom left corner, or use +/- to zoom in/out.


Comments by aiREFORM submitted to the ‘Noise Policy Review’ NPRM-RFC [Docket FAA-2023-0855]

A few hours ahead of the closing deadline, aiREFORM submitted a 37-page PDF to the Federal eRulemaking Portal, for ‘Docket No.: FAA–2023–0855: Request for Comments on the FAA’s Review of the Civil Aviation Noise Policy’. The pages break down as follows:

pages 1-4 Part 1: Summary, & General Concerns
pages 2-8 Part 2: aiREFORM comments to FAA’s 11 numbered questions
pages 9-10 Analysis of 1980-2022 ops at 39 major airports
pages 11-12 May 2015 Press Release – FAA to Re-Evaluate Methods for Measuring Effects of Air Noise
pages 13-37 April 2020 – FAA Report to Congress (25p)

The opening page includes this:

I ask FAA to join me in supporting the Aviation-Impacted Communities Alliance (AICA) comments submitted at Docket No FAA-2023-0855-2206. AICA has worked very hard to connect impacted citizens and organize our concerns about these ongoing (and at some locations expanding) aviation impacts. There are many good and solid proposals offered within the AICA comments.

My own comments follow, and are organized as follows:

    • Part 1: provides a summary & overview of this NPRM-RFC1 document
    • Part 2: provides FAA’s specified questions, and this citizen’s comments and suggestions

Part 1: Summary, & General Concerns

The comments that follow are provided by a retired FAA air traffic controller. During his career, he assisted many local residents toward mitigating aviation impacts. Since retiring, he has spent decades studying aviation impacts and working to assist residents across the nation. What he has found is that his former employer, a federal agency with supreme authority over all regulatory aspects of aviation, is failing. FAA is effectively a captured regulator. FAA is not serving the nation; instead, FAA is serving to enable excessive operations (and impacts) by aviation players, who gain financially with FAA inaction and delays, often aided by current FAA employees who have conflicts of interest due to other non-FAA aviation work.

People are being damaged; communities are being destroyed. This NPRM-RFC is centered on Aviation Noise, which is one of the three primary aviation pollutants (the others being air pollutants, and contamination of ground and water). In 2023, we are seeing FAA’s programs lead to rising noise pollution in many areas, but these two rise above:

At major airline hub airports, where NextGen technologies are automating procedures by both aircraft navigational systems and ATC systems, to tweak flow rates higher, all in the goal of accommodating airlines wanting higher airport capacities. FAA has been aggressively ‘collaborating’ with industry to achieve these goals, despite the fact that airline operations have been declining for more than two decades. Under these changes, thousands of homes are inundated with nearly nonstop stress-inducing noise patterns. Worst-case examples today include JFK, LGA, DCA, SEA, BOS, and many others.

At general aviation airports, where consolidation of flight training programs is creating intensive concentration of closed pattern operations at a select few airports. Private-equity funded, national-scale, flight schools are importing students from across the globe, and profiting from the impacts they impose upon communities below. The Front Range of Colorado is the current worst-case example. Operations at BJC, APA, and a handful of other regional non-towered airports have soared, as have pollutant impacts, in some cases doubling in a few years… yet no environmental analysis or public engagement process preceded any of this growth. On top of this problem, hobbyist pilots and some affiliated with these flight schools and other operators are using social media to identify and then bully the few citizens who try to aid their neighbors by speaking up. The bullying even includes an aviation variant of road-rage: the use of small planes to descend and circle low over homes of known concerned citizens, to intimidate them … and FAA is doing nothing to curtail this bullying. It is as if there were no real regulation by FAA; no accountability for the players who gain profits or just pursue their hobby, while spewing pollutants (often including lead toxins) in the air above our homes.

So here we are, today, offering comments requested by FAA, to assist this huge and deeply-funded agency in their quest of a review of aviation noise policies. Which begs the question: what exactly is the current ‘Aviation Noise Policy’ being reviewed?

To read the rest, click on this link to download the 37-pg PDF, for viewing offline, and feel free to share it onward. Use the embedded PDF below to read the PDF online; dwell on the bottom left corner of the PDF to use up-down arrows (for page scrolling) or to zoom in/out. 20230929.. aiREFORM comments to Dckt FAA–2023–0855(37p)