Monday, October 15, 2007

FAA History Lesson -- October 15

It’s a busy, busy day in FAA history. There should be something here for everyone.

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

”Oct 15-21, 1950: During this seven-day period, CAA put into operation the first omnirange (VOR) airways (see Calendar Year 1947). Although 271 omniranges had already been commissioned in different parts of the United States, this marked the initial designation of a chain of these ranges as a controlled airway. The new routes, approximately 4,380 miles long, linked such major terminals as Kansas City, Denver, Albuquerque, El Paso, Omaha, and Oklahoma City. (Jun 1, 1952.) During fiscal year 1951, CAA began enhancing the VOR airways with distance measuring equipment (DME) to assist in low visibility approaches. “

” Oct 15, 1962: An experiment testing FAA's capability to provide air traffic control service to interceptor aircraft of the Air Force's Air Defense Command (ADC) during military operations got underway in FAA's Central Region. The experiment was born of the need to end a situation in which two organizations--FAA, controlling civil aircraft, and ADC, controlling its interceptor aircraft--were directing aircraft movements in the same airspace at the same time. This need, which had caused concern for some time, was intensified by the implementation of the area positive control program (see Oct 15, 1960-Mar 1, 1961). In the test, ADC's pilots received air traffic control service from FAA controllers for scramble, flight en route to target, and recovery; for actual intercept, they were handed off to ADC intercept directors. The test ended successfully on Apr 6, 1963, and pending formalization of the program, FAA continued providing services as during the test period. (See Sep 9, 1963.) “

” Oct 15, 1965: FAA established a comprehensive new air traffic controller health program. The previous practice had been to examine only terminal controllers, under standards originally designed for airman certification. Under the new program, every controller and flight service specialist would receive an annual physical examination, including a chest X-ray, electrocardiogram, audiogram, measurement of intraocular tension, and psychological screening. Psychophysiological data generated by these examinations would be used to formulate administrative policies on selection, employment, and retirement. “

”Oct 9, 1960: FAA commissioned the Oakland air traffic control center's new building, followed by the Atlanta center's new building on Oct 15. “

Don Brown
October 15, 2007

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