FAA History: 1977

Monday, January 10, 1977:FAA published a rule raising the maximum number of transport aircraft passenger seats per main (Type A) emergency exit from 100 to 110, effective February 10, 1977. The change cleared the way for certification of Boeing 747s seating over 500.
Thursday, January 20, 1977:Jimmy (James E.) Carter became President, succeeding Gerald R. Ford.
Tuesday, February 1, 1977:Brock Adams became Secretary of Transportation, succeeding William T. Coleman, Jr., with the change in administrations. Adams had been a Democratic congressman from the State of Washington since 1964 and a leading transportation authority in the House of Representatives. (See July 20, 1979.)
Thursday, March 3, 1977:FAA published a rule establishing three “stages” of aircraft noise levels for subsonic large transport aircraft and subsonic turbojets. Stage 1 aircraft were those that did not meet current noise standards and hence must be modified or replaced according to a previously established schedule (see December 23, 1976). Stage 2 aircraft met the current standards, while Stage 3 aircraft were able to meet the more rigorous noise standards for the next generation of jet transports prescribed by the rule.
The agency judged that improved noise-reduction technologies made it economically reasonable to apply the new standards, which were effective on October 1, 1977 and covered all large (over 75,000 pounds) aircraft for which application for new type certificates had been made after May 5, 1975. Noise limits on landing approaches were reduced from the old standard of 102-108 effective perceived noise decibels (EPNdB) to 98-105 EPNdB, depending on aircraft weight. For the first time, the standards for takeoff and sideline noise levels were based on number of engines as well as weight. Takeoff limits were reduced from the old standard of 93-108 EPNdB to 90-106 for four-engine jets, 90-104 for three engines, and 89-101 for one and two engines. Sideline noise limits were reduced from 102-108 EPNdB to 96-103 for three and four engines and 94-103 for one and two engines. In addition, the measuring points for sideline noise were altered. The new noise limits were not retroactive to aircraft types already certificated. (See February 18, 1980.)
Wednesday, March 16, 1977:The All-Weather Operations Panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommended to ICAO’s Air Navigation Commission the adoption of the U.S.-Australian Time Reference Scanning Beam (TRSB) technique as the world standard for a microwave landing system (MLS). The vote was six for the U.S-sponsored system and one for the British Doppler system, with three abstentions (Britain, France, and West Germany). Britain protested the decision as biased and technically flawed, and hence the debate about MLS continued pending a final decision in 1978 by the full All-Weather Operations Division of ICAO. (See June 1976, and April 19, 1978.)
Sunday, March 27, 1977:Two Boeing 747s collided on a runway at Tenerife, Canary Islands, under conditions of limited visibility. One of the aircraft, a Pan American jet, was moving down the runway toward an assigned taxiway. The other, belonging to Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM), had been assigned to wait at the end of the same runway. The Dutch crew was approaching the legal flight duty time limit. Their captain apparently misinterpreted a message from the tower as clearance to take off. Disregarding the doubts of a crew member, he began the takeoff roll. The resulting collision killed all 248 personsFregistryregistry aboard the KLM jet and 335 of the 396 persons aboard the Pan American. The fatality total of 583 was the worst that had occurred in any aviation accident. Most of the casualties were caused by the intense fires that engulfed both aircraft. The accident stimulated interest in fire safety (see June 26, 1978) and in airport surface detection equipment (see July 5, 1977).
Wednesday, March 30, 1977:Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams announced the withdrawal of Federal support for a proposed new St. Louis airport near Waterloo, IL. His predecessor, William T. Coleman, Jr., had given conditional approval to the Waterloo site in September 1976, but Adams, in reversing this decision, said that pressing ahead on a new airport there was “premature.” He acknowledged that his choice had been influenced by strong political opposition in Missouri to the project, as well as by the recent signing of long-term leases by major airlines at the existing Lambert-St. Louis Municipal Airport. (Langhorne M. Bond, who became FAA Administrator on May 4, 1977, had been a leading advocate of the Illinois site while he was Illinois Secretary of Transportation. Bond agreed during his confirmation hearings not to take part in a decision on the issue.)
Friday, April 1, 1977:John L. McLucas’ resignation as Federal Aviation Administrator became effective. The post of Acting Administrator was assumed by Quentin S. Taylor, an FAA executive who was President Carter’s nominee for Deputy Administrator. (See entries for May 4, 1977.)
Monday, April 4, 1977:A Southern Airways DC-9 crashed near New Hope, GA. The pilot attempted an emergency landing on a highway, but the aircraft broke apart and caught fire. The accident killed 62 of the 85 persons aboard, as well as 8 persons on the ground. In addition, one passenger and one person injured on the ground died about a month later. The National Transportation Safety Board cited the probable cause of the crash as the total and unique loss of thrust after the engines ingested massive amounts of water and hail as the aircraft penetrated an area of severe thunderstorms. As contributory causes, the NTSB listed: failure of the airline’s dispatch system to provide up-to-date severe weather data; the captain’s reliance on airborne weather radar to enter a thunderstorm area; and FAA’s lack of a system for disseminating real-time hazardous weather warnings. (See May 19, 1977.)
Saturday, April 30, 1977:FAA set up a unique transport unit of the Miami General Aviation District Office to provide greater oversight of non-certificated air cargo operations concentrated in the northwest corner of Miami airport. Recent accidents had given rise to FAA concerns about the safety of these operators of private-carriage cargo aircraft for lease.
Wednesday, May 4, 1977:Langhorne M. Bond became the seventh Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, succeeding John L. McLucas (see March 31, 1977). Bond had been nominated by President Carter on March 30 and confirmed by the Senate on April 27.
Born in Shanghai, China, in 1937, Bond was the son of a vice president of Pan American Airways. After earning an A.B. (1959) and law degree (1963) at the University of Virginia, he went on to study at the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University, the London School of Economics, and Oxford University. Bond was a member of the task force that developed the legislation establishing the U.S. Department of Transportation, and then served one-year stints as special assistant to the first DOT Secretary, Alan S. Boyd, and as Assistant Administrator for Public Affairs in DOT’s Urban Mass Transportation Administration. He left Federal service in 1969 to become Executive Director of the National Transportation Center, a nonprofit research organization in Pittsburgh that managed bus technology projects for transit authorities. In March 1973, Bond was named Secretary of Transportation for the State of Illinois, the position he held when tapped for the FAA job. He served as FAA Administrator for the remaining three years and eight months of the Carter Administration. (See January 20, 1981.)
Wednesday, May 4, 1977:Quentin S. Taylor became FAA’s Deputy Administrator, succeeding James E. Dow (see March 31, 1976). A career civil servant, the 41-year-old Taylor was Director of FAA’s New England Region when President Carter nominated him for the Deputy post on March 30, 1977.
Born in Front Royal, VA, he held degrees from Howard University in electronic engineering and Syracuse University in political science. Taylor joined FAA in 1959 as an electronics engineer assigned to the Airway Facilities Service and served successively as a staff specialist in the Office of Appraisal, Special Assistant to the Associate Administrator for Administration, FAA’s first Director of Civil Rights, and Deputy Director of the Alaskan Region. His appointment to the New England Region’s top post in February 1975 made him the first African American to head an FAA region.
Taylor served as Deputy Administrator for the remainder of the Carter Administration, resigning on January 20, 1981. He continued his FAA career, serving as Consultant to the Office of the Administrator, then Director of the Office of International Aviation, and later Deputy Assistant Administrator for Airports. (See August 1, 1981.)
Saturday, May 7, 1977:The pilots of Wien Air Alaska went on strike when the company determined to reduce its Boeing 737 cockpit crew to two pilots (see November 23, 1971). The strike lasted 21 months, but Wien maintained partial operations by hiring nonunion pilots. On November 2, 1978, President Carter created a Presidential Emergency Board to help settle the dispute. Three months later, on February 9, 1979, the board reported that both parties had agreed to accept a two-man crew for 737 operations. This settlement left only United and Western among U.S. airlines with a three-man crew for the 737. (See February 21, 1976 and March 27, 1980.)
Thursday, May 12, 1977:Administrator Bond imposed an agency-wide hiring and promotion freeze. At FAA’s national Headquarters and its Metropolitan Washington Airports office, the freeze affected both external and internal hiring. Field offices, however, could fill positions from within FAA, as long as promotions were not involved. The few exceptions to these rules included hiring required to meet air traffic training schedules. To further trim back Washington Headquarters personnel, Bond later instituted a field placement program between March 27 and October 24, 1978. Under the program, field offices could not fill vacancies until it was determined that qualified candidates were available at the Washington Headquarters. During his tenure, Bond succeeded in reducing overall FAA employment from 58,081 at the end of fiscal year 1977 to 55,340 on December 30, 1981. During the same period, Washington Headquarters personnel fell from 2,683 to 2,069.
Monday, May 16, 1977:A Sikorsky S-61L helicopter parked atop New York’s Pan Am Building rolled on its side due to collapse of a landing gear. Rotating blades killed four boarding passengers, and one pedestrian on a street below died when struck by a separated blade portion. Originally opened in 1965, the controversial heliport had closed in February 1968 because of a contract dispute, then reopened on February 1, 1977. The facility closed permanently after the accident.
Monday, May 16, 1977:Regulations regarding airline transportation of disabled passengers went into effect after several years of discussion and debate. Noting increasing complaints on the subject, CAB had in 1971 referred the issue to FAA for determination of relevant safety parameters. After a series of hearings, FAA had in July 1974 proposed a comprehensive, detailed set of safety regulations. Public reaction was strongly negative, largely because many believed that the proposed rules placed unfair restrictions on disabled travelers.
Guided by research and tests by the Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI), FAA adopted a more flexible approach in its March 1977 rule. The agency ordered each air carrier to develop its own set of procedures, appropriate to its particular aircraft and operations. FAA would then review these procedures and direct any changes needed for safety or the public interest. Airlines were prohibited from denying passage to anyone who met the criteria in its FAA-approved plan. In addition, the new rule specifically prohibited airlines from barring a passenger because of his or her inability to sit up in an airline seat, and required individual briefings on evacuation procedures for all disabled persons before takeoff. (See March 2, 1990.)
FAA had originally proposed to require that canes and crutches be readily available for use during evacuation. The agency decided against this, however, citing CAMI research indicating that canes and crutches might actually hamper evacuation and might puncture inflatable evacuation slides. (See November 20, 1981.)
Thursday, May 19, 1977:FAA issued a rule requiring each air carrier to obtain approval by year’s end for its system of gathering and disseminating information on adverse weather that might affect safety. Current rules already required airlines to supply flight crews with pertinent weather data, but contained no provision for FAA approval of these weather information systems. In proposing this rule in a notice published on November 15, 1976, FAA cited factors that included an accident at St. Louis (see July 23, 1973). Following this proposal, the need for such a rule was highlighted by an accident in Georgia (see April 4, 1977).
Friday, June 10, 1977:The Senate confirmed Alfred E. Kahn as Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB). A former economics professor at Cornell, Kahn was a long-time champion of free market competition. Although the effort to increase competition in air transportation had begun before President Carter appointed him (see September 2, 1976), Kahn carried it much further. During his 15 months at CAB, the Board approved major fare reductions and awarded many new routes and services, such as the transatlantic Skytrain (see September 16, 1977). Kahn’s policies at CAB helped pave the way for legislation that virtually ended the economic regulation of airlines. (See November 9, 1977.)
Thursday, June 16, 1977:FAA published a rule requiring the installation of shoulder harnesses on the front seats of new small airplanes weighing 12,500 pounds or less that were manufactured after July 18, 1978. This rule upgraded safety standards included in an August 1, 1969, rule that required manufacturers of small aircraft to provide protection against head injuries for all occupants. This protection was to be achieved through seat belts in combination with either harnesses, energy-absorbing rests, or the elimination of injurious objects within striking radius of the head. The added requirement concerning harnesses for front seats stemmed from a January 1973 rulemaking proposal that followed recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board and a petition from consumer advocate Ralph Nader. (See November 13, 1985.)
Tuesday, July 5, 1977:FAA announced award of a contract for an engineering model of a new generation of Airport Surface Detection Equipment, designated ASDE-3. ASDE surface radar had been in service at U.S. airports since September 1960 (see that date). FAA planned to use ASDE-3 as a replacement for the ASDE-2 systems in use at 13 airports, as well as to install ASDE-3 at additional locations. The new equipment would provide clearer outlines of runways and taxiways while at the same time suppressing radar returns from buildings and rainfall. In April 1977, FAA had ordered display enhancement units for the ASDE-2 as an interim measure.
FAA ordered the ASDE-3 engineering model a few months after a ground collision in the Canary Islands caused 583 deaths (see March 27, 1977). Deficiencies in surface radar had earlier been cited by the National Transportation Safety Board as a factor in a crash in fog involving a North Central Airlines DC-9 and a Delta Airlines Convair 880 that killed 10 passengers on the night of December 20, 1972, at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. (See August 1979.)
Wednesday, July 13, 1977:FAA gave uninterrupted air traffic control service during a massive electric power failure that left approximately 9 million people in the New York City area without electricity for periods ranging from 5 to 25 hours. The uninterrupted service was possible because of the continuous power airport program that FAA had begun after an earlier massive blackout, in 1965, initially selecting 50 key airports to be equipped with standby engine generators. (See September 19, 1974.)
Thursday, July 21, 1977:FAA issued an advisory circular on ozone irritation in aircraft cabins. Beginning in the winter of 1976, persons on high-altitude flights had reported such symptoms as shortness of breath, coughing, and eye irritation. By March 1977, FAA had concluded that ozone was the probable cause. Although the main atmospheric ozone layer lies above altitudes normally used by airliners, concentrations of the gas occasionally descend lower, particularly at high latitudes and during certain seasons of the year. FAA recommended that pilots descend to lower altitudes if effects of ozone contamination were noted. If pilots experienced significant exposure to the gas, they were advised to breathe pure oxygen before landing to counteract ozone’s known effect on night vision. FAA also undertook research on more permanent ways of dealing with the problem. (See February 20, 1980.)
Saturday, July 23, 1977:The United States and the United Kingdom signed the “Bermuda II” agreement governing civil air services between the two countries. Negotiations had been completed a month earlier, only shortly before an impending cessation of U.S.-U.K. air travel. On June 22, 1976, the British had given a year’s notice of the termination of the original, landmark Bermuda pact (see February 11, 1946). Among their objectives were to increase their share of transatlantic passenger revenue by instituting capacity restrictions and to curtail American air carriers’ “fifth freedom” rights to fly passengers east from London and west from Hong Kong. The U.S. negotiating team, led by former Secretary of Transportation Alan S. Boyd, argued for open competition. The resulting compromise: placed limits on American fifth-freedom rights; restricted situations in which more than one U.S. carrier served the same U.S.-U.K. route; and established a procedure that governments might use to control capacity. On the other hand, the treaty opened new routes for airlines of both countries, allowed the entrance of new carriers into the U.S.-U.K. market, and resulted in lower fares. (See September 26, 1977 and March 10, 1978.)
Thursday, August 4, 1977:FAA Administrator Bond signed a policy paper reaffirming the age-60 rule on mandatory retirement of airline pilots (see March 15, 1960). Bond had promised to review the rule during his confirmation hearings. Citing a new study by FAA’s Office of Aviation Medicine, the policy paper concluded that medical examination could not sufficiently predict the future health and functional capacity of a pilot who reached age 60. (See December 29, 1979.)
Tuesday, August 23, 1977:In the desert at Shaffer, CA, Bryan Allen made the first flight propelled by human muscle through a one-mile, figure-eight course. Allen pedaled the course in the Gossamer Condor, a heavier-than-air craft weighing less than 70 pounds that had been designed by Paul MacCready. Nearly two years later, on June 12, 1979, Allen made the first human-powered flight across the English Channel, pedaling the MacReady-designed Gossamer Albatross.
Monday, August 29, 1977:FAA published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the elimination of seven of eleven FAA advisory committees as the result of a review conducted under President’s Carter’s order for a strict evaluation of such committees. The eliminated committees were: the Citizens Advisory Committee on Aviation; the Microwave Landing System Advisory Committee; the U.S. Advisory Committee on Obstacle Clearance Requirements; the U.S. Advisory Committee on Visual Aids to Approach and Landings; the U.S. Advisory Committee on Terminal Instrument Procedures; the Flight Information Advisory Committee; and the Southern Region Air Traffic Control Committee. The remaining committees were: the Air Traffic Procedures Advisory Committee; the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA); the Technical Advisory Committee, later terminated on March 1, 1978; and the High Altitude Pollution Program Technical Advisory Committee, later terminated on July 1, 1982.
Wednesday, September 7, 1977:The Aircraft Loan Guaranty Program lapsed on this date as Congress had failed to provide funds for program, which had guaranteed loans of $307 million during its 20-year existence. (See June 13, 1968, and October 24, 1978.)
Friday, September 9, 1977:FAA abolished the Executive Secretariat in the Office of the Administrator and transferred all of its functions, except administrative support and correspondence control and review, to other national headquarters elements.
Thursday, September 15, 1977:The dynamic simulation radar controller training laboratory (DYSIM) became operational at the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center, the last of the 20 centers to be so equipped. FAA had determined that it was better to train new center controllers on a simulator than on an operational ATC sector, and began a program in 1975 to provide the centers with training equipment that duplicated all the conditions experienced on operational NAS En Route Stage A display equipment.
Thursday, September 15, 1977:FAA formally notified the U.S.-European Aerosat council that the United States was withdrawing from the satellite project, following a congressional cut-off of funds for the program. Aerosat’s objective was to increase the communications capacity over the North Atlantic. Originally a European idea, the project had long been marked by controversy over shared ownership, radio bands, and costs. (See November 12, 1974.)
Friday, September 16, 1977:FAA closed the Airport District Offices at Denver, Salt Lake City, and Pierre, South Dakota, and transferred their services to Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and South Dakota to the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at Aurora, Colorado.
Friday, September 23, 1977:At the end of the 16-month trial of the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic transport at Dulles International Airport (see February 4, 1976), Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams announced proposed permanent rules for civil supersonic transport (SST) operations in the United States. Most of these related to the new noise restrictions adopted in 1977. Secretary Adams proposed to exempt the 16 Concordes manufactured before January 1, 1980, from retrofit requirements for older jet transports (see December 23, 1976), while requiring future SST’s to meet all noise standards for newer subsonic aircraft (see March 3, 1977). In view of the exceptional loudness of the Concorde, however, the ban on Concorde operations between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. was retained, as was the absolute prohibition on supersonic flight over land. In addition, the Concorde was granted permission to land at Washington, New York, and 11 other American cities.
These proposed regulations became final on July 31, 1978, after several more public hearings on the subject. At that time, FAA justified its “grandfather clause” for the first 16 Concordes by noting that they constituted the entire production run of the aircraft. (Because of its high fuel costs and limited payload, the Concorde had been purchased only by the state airlines of France and Britain.) FAA felt that modifications that would bring these aircraft into compliance with subsonic noise standards were neither technologically practicable nor economically reasonable. On the other hand, some restrictions on the Concorde were justified by thorough analysis of FAA test results on the plane’s loudness, which showed that the perceived noise generated by a Concorde on its takeoff path was double that of a Boeing 707, four times that of a Boeing 747, and eight times that of a DC-10. FAA also reviewed a number of environmental concerns that had been expressed about SSTs, the most important of which was the fear that emission from SST engines might damage the ozone layer of the earth’s atmosphere (see May 5, 1976). Citing a number of recent research studies, including one submitted by the National Academy of Sciences, FAA concluded that the possibility of such damage from the Concordes was too small to be an immediate concern.
Friday, September 23, 1977:The Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) came into being as a new element of the Department of Transportation. RSPA received responsibility for many issues common to all transportation modes, and for a variety of special programs. Its responsibilities included: ensuring the safe movement of hazardous materials and the safe operation of pipelines; improving cargo security; facilitating cargo movement; and conducting research in support of a range of Departmental programs. Organizations placed under RSPA included: the Materials Transportation Bureau (see July 1, 1976); the Transportation Safety Institute (see February 23, 1971); and the Transportation Systems Center, which had conducted much of DOT’s multimodal research since its creation in 1970. (On September 18, 1990, the Transportation Systems Center was renamed the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.) After 1984, RSPA assumed responsibility for collecting air carrier economic data (see December 31, 1984).
Monday, September 26, 1977:Laker Airlines’ low-cost “Skytrain” transatlantic service made its first flight from New York to London, signaling the start of a revolution in international air fares. The new standby fare for the British airline had been a part of the new Bermuda II treaty (see July 23, 1977). On the same day, President Carter moved to regain the initiative for the United States by approving a package of new low-cost standby and reserved fares for U.S. scheduled transatlantic flag carriers. On December 21, he also moved to increase the extent of transatlantic service, approving new routes for 11 American cities. (See March 10, 1978.)
Friday, September 30, 1977:The new consolidated Washington Flight Service Station (co-located with the Air Route Traffic Control Center at Leesburg, VA) became operational after the installation of a computerized data-retrieval system. The new station handled all the flight services previously provided by the stations at Washington, Richmond, and Charlottesville. Instead of the experimental AWANS computer system (see February 1976), the new Leesburg station used another system, called Meteorological and Aeronautical Presentation System (MAPS), which was more compatible with the ARTCC’s computers. The AWANS originally ordered for Leesburg was installed at another co-located FSS at the Indianapolis ARTCC. After testing both modernized stations, the FAA concluded that FSS consolidation offered the prospect of significant improvements in cost and service. (See January 1978.)
Monday, October 17, 1977:A U.S. Supreme Court decision ended the long dispute over landing rights for the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic transport at New York Kennedy airport. In 1976, Secretary of Transportation William T. Coleman had allowed a 16-month trial of the Concorde at Washington and New York (see February 4, 1976); however, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, operator of Kennedy airport, had banned the Concorde pending further study of its environmental impact. During the spring of 1977, citizens concerned about the Concorde’s potential noise conducted demonstrations that included the deliberate snarling of automobile traffic by driving cars very slowly down Kennedy’s access roads.
Meanwhile, on May 11, 1977, a Federal District Court ruled that the Port Authority’s landing ban was illegal because it was in “irreconcilable conflict” with Federal prerogatives. A month later, on June 14, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit modified this ruling, holding that the Port Authority had the right to establish “fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory” noise standards. The Court of appeals sent the case back to the District Court to determine whether the Port Authority’s actions met the “fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory” test. On August 17, the District Court ruled that the Port Authority’s long delay in formulating noise standards constituted unreasonable and discriminatory treatment of the Concorde. It was this decision that the Supreme Court upheld. Concorde passenger service from New York to London and Paris began on November 22, 1977.
Tuesday, October 18, 1977:FAA required operators of certificated airports to provide emergency medical plans for medical assistance, transportation, and crowd control for an emergency involving the largest aircraft that might reasonably be expected to serve their airports. FAA based the action on deficiencies discovered in a random review of airport emergency plans. (See May 21, 1973, and November 9, 1987.)
Friday, October 28, 1977:FAA announced that Minimum Safe Altitude Warning (MSAW) was operational at all 63 major U.S. airports equipped with ARTS III automated terminal radar systems. (See November 5, 1976 and September 30, 1981.)
Wednesday, November 9, 1977:President Carter signed legislation virtually ending economic regulation of air cargo operations. The President stated his hope that this was the first of many such steps to reduce regulation. (See June 10, 1977, and October 24, 1978.)
Sunday, November 20, 1977:Teams of dogs specially trained to detect explosives were in place at a network of 29 U.S. airports chosen so that no airliner flying over the United States would be more than 30 minutes away from one of the designated facilities. The placement of dog teams at San Juan airport marked the complete implementation of a joint FAA-Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) program begun in 1972 (see December 29, 1975). Between 1972 and 1977, dogs had detected the presence of explosives in aircraft cargo on 21 occasions. FAA assumed full financial support for the program after July 1, 1981, when LEAA terminated its participation.
Thursday, December 1, 1977:A new air route system between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland permitting more direct flight paths and greater fuel economy on the 2,500-mile trip became permanent, following a successful six-month test that began in May 1976. The new system provided six great circle routes between Hawaii and the U.S. west coast in place of the previous four essentially parallel routes. The increase in routes was made possible by the use of composite separation criteria that permitted lateral separation of as little as 50 miles instead of the previous 100, so long as the aircraft had at least 1,000 feet vertical separation. The procedure had been used successfully on North Atlantic routes for some time.
Primary Sources:
Dated items along the left margin of the FAA History Pages were compiled from the series of FAA’s ‘Historical Chronology’ PDF files. For a list and links to uploaded copies of these PDF files, see aiReform’s ‘FAA History’ main page (link above).
Additional content has been compiled from Wikipedia and other sources; these items are presented along the right margin, and include significant accidents, Whistleblower case actions, various news items, ATC technology developments, links to related material, comments, etc. Further content will be added at a later date.