Monday, June 25, 2007

FAA History Lesson -- June 25

From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Jun 25, 1956: Its interest kindled by the Harding Report (see May 4, 1955), the Legal and Monetary Affairs Subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Operations, chaired by Rep. Robert H. Mollohan (D.-W.Va.), began extensive hearings on the Federal role in aviation. The hearings centered on: the adequacy of the Federal-aid airport program; problems in air traffic control and air navigational aids, with particular reference to the TACAN/VOR-DME controversy (see Aug 30, 1956); the effect of introducing commercial jets; the organization for aviation matters within the executive branch; the operational efficiency of CAA, including the effectiveness of its five-year program; and the problem of joint military and civil use of airports. “

You never know when fate will reach out and touch you. Or where.

Did you realize how the world was going to change 5 days before September 11, 2001 ? Probably not. But people inside your government had a good idea what could happen. George Tenet’s quote, “The system was blinking red” has become quite famous. Do you think the leaders of the CAA realized that their system was “blinking red” on this date in history ? Do you think that the leaders of the FAA know that their system is “blinking red” ?

There are people in your government that do have a good idea. And I mean what I say -- it’s just a good idea. There is absolutely no way to know for certain. You just know you’re standing too close to the edge of disaster and you know we all need to take a step back. Congress knew in 1956, just as they know today. The volume on the “background noise” is getting louder. Too many people that know what they’re talking about are just a little too nervous.

Most of the controllers reading this have already figured out the disaster, even if the didn’t know the specific date. It’s a date -- a disaster -- that changed air traffic control forever. 5 days.

Don Brown
June 25, 2007

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