FAA History: 1998

Thursday, January 8, 1998:FAA ordered immediate visual inspection of the tail sections of 211 late-model Boeing 737s after investigators determined that a crash in Indonesia might have been the result of missing fasteners in the tail. Within the 24 hours prior to issuing this order, the agency had checked horizontal stabilizers on aircraft being built or prepared for delivery at Boeing’s Renton, Washington, factory. No major problems were noted, but the inspectors found a loose fastener on one in-service aircraft. All U.S. carriers with 737s manufactured after September 20, 1995, in their fleets were therefore required to inspect the horizontal stabilizer portion of the tail section within 24 hours, or five flight segments, for missing fasteners.
Friday, February 6, 1998:President Clinton signed legislation into law renaming Washington National Airport the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Monday, February 9, 1998:George Donohue, FAA associate administrator for research and acquisitions withdrew his nomination to be the FAA deputy administrator and informed Department of Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater that he planned to leave the agency. (See June 11, 1997.)
February 10-11, 1998:FAA held its first Commercial Space Transportation Forecast Conference. (See December 19, 1997; April 21, 1998.)
Wednesday, February 11, 1998:President Clinton signed into law the FAA Research, Engineering, and Development Authorization Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-155). The bill mandated FAA establish a program to fund undergraduate and technical colleges, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions, to perform research on subjects of relevance to FAA. The legislation also required the agency to assess immediately the extent of the risk to its operations that could be identified up until the year 2000 and to develop contingency plans to reduce or avoid the risk introduced by faulty systems that could not be fully corrected before the target year.
Thursday, February 12, 1998:Department of Transportation issued a rule mandating that, beginning the upcoming fall, airlines must collect the full names of all passengers traveling on international flights and be prepared to make a passenger manifest available within three hours of a crash. The rule was one of several Department of Transportation actions issued on the first anniversary of the publication of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security report.
Thursday, February 12, 1998:FAA issued a final rule requiring fire detection and suppression systems in aircraft cargo compartments. (See June 10, 1997; March 19, 2001.)
Monday, March 30, 1998:Vice President Al Gore announced that two new civilian global positioning system (GPS) signals would be provided by the U.S. free of charge. The announcement fulfilled a pledge made by the Department of Defense and Department of Transportation in March 1997 to reach a decision on a second civil frequency within a year. (See February 27, 1997; June 3, 1998.)
Tuesday, April 7, 1998:Federal aviation investigators probing the explosion of TWA Flight 800 urged inspections of the wiring in fuel monitoring systems of hundreds of Boeing 747s and possibly other Boeing jets. In a letter to FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Jim Hall noted that his organization had found damaged wiring on the “fuel quantity indication systems” of the crashed aircraft and three other 747s. While not directly linking them with the explosion of Flight 800’s fuel tank, the letter described the conditions as “potentially hazardous.” Also, sources close to the investigation said the letter was not intended to indicate that the board was any closer to determining the cause of the fuel tank’s violent explosion. The problems with the 747 fuel systems had been revealed earlier, and had been discussed at hearings on the crash held the previous year in Baltimore. (See December 19, 1997; May 10, 1998.)
Tuesday, April 14, 1998:The Clinton Administration unveiled its Safer Skies initiative, an aviation safety agenda consistent with one announced earlier by the aviation industry. Designed to reduce the commercial aviation accident rate by 80 percent over the next decade, the initiative included mandatory equipment and training to prevent pilots from flying mechanically fit aircraft into the ground or water. It also contained programs to encourage cabin safety. Safer Skies concentrated FAA resources on the most prevalent causes of aircraft accidents and used special teams of technical experts to identify the leading causes of aviation disasters and recommend safety advances.
Wednesday, April 15, 1998:FAA leased the Atlantic City International Airport to the South Jersey Transportation Authority. FAA and the authority signed a 50-year lease and cooperative agreement transferring 2,000 acres of land, including airport runway and taxiway systems.
Thursday, April 16, 1998:RTCA’s Free Flight Steering Committee recommended that, through a core capability limited deployment process to be undertaken through 2002, FAA should adopt its proposed free flight program to implement six technologies at selected air route air traffic control centers. The technologies included: Traffic Management Advisory (TMA), Passive Final Approach Space Tool (pFAST), User Request Evaluation Tool (URET), Collaborative Decision Making (CDM), Controller-Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC), and Surface Movement Advisor (SMA). (See January 15, 1997; September 30, 1999; February 4, 2000; March 30, 2000.)
Tuesday, April 21, 1998:FAA published a final rule on licensing requirements for the launch of expendable vehicles from federal sites. (See February 10-11, 1998; August 26, 1998.)
Monday, May 4, 1998:FAA announced plans to introduce computer-based training for security screening personnel at the nation’s busiest airports. The training was a module in the Screener Proficiency Evaluation and Reporting System (SPEARS) being developed by the agency to select, train, evaluate, and monitor the performance of employees who operated the X-ray screening checkpoints. FAA awarded Safe Passage International an $11 million contract on this date to install the SPEARS computer-based training workstations and train instructors to use it at up to 60 airports. (See May 17, 1997; August 21, 1998.)
Sunday, May 10, 1998:FAA ordered all older Boeing 737s temporarily grounded until mechanics inspected high-voltage fuel tank wiring for problems that could cause a fire or explosion. FAA gave airlines seven days to complete the inspections. The action came after United Airlines mechanics found evidence of electrical arcing on wiring removed from another 737. Thomas McSweeny, FAA director of aircraft certification, stated that nearly every one of the first 13 aircraft inspected prior to the order exhibited some level of chafing on the insulation that separated the wiring from the metal conduits carrying the wiring through the fuel tank to fuel pumps. May 14, FAA expanded the order to include somewhat newer 737 planes and added a set of wires exempted from the original inspection. In some cases, when mechanics performed inspections of newer planes already in the shop for major repairs, they found chafed high-voltage wires. (See April 7, 1998; July 23, 1998.)
Wednesday, May 13, 1998:FAA unveiled a new, data-driven air carrier inspection program called the Air Transport Oversight System (ATOS) to enable FAA inspectors to spot safety trends and catch problems before they could lead to an incident or accident. (See October 1, 1998.)
Friday, May 15, 1998:FAA commissioned the country’s 34th Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) at Newark International Airport. It also commissioned an airport surveillance radar (ASR-9) there. The ASR-9 replaced the ASR-7 at Newark, providing a clearer picture of weather and aircraft than the older system.
Tuesday, June 2, 1998:The Department of Transportation Inspector General issued a report saying that, despite the fact that adverse weather conditions had caused or contributed to nearly 25 percent of aviation accidents in the last decade, FAA still had failed to provide leadership in aviation weather programs.
Wednesday, June 3, 1998:Department of Transportation Secretary Slater announced the award of a contract to Advanced Management Technologies, Inc., to provide expertise in the adaptation of the global positioning system (GPS) to civil aviation needs. The contract was worth $27 million over three years, with four one-year options that could bring the full potential contract value up to $62 million. Under the contract, the company would provide technical engineering and program management support for current and future satellite and satellite augmentation systems for FAA. (See March 30, 1998; January 29, 1999.)
Friday, June 5, 1998:FAA ordered the retraining of 10,000 air traffic controllers nationwide. Two specific incidents and a general increase in controller errors nationwide prompted this action. An April 3 incident had not been revealed to the public, but shortly before the order was released, an Air Canada Airbus A320 jet, taking off from LaGuardia, flew directly over a US Airways DC-9 jet as it broke off a landing. The two passenger jets came as close as 20 feet from colliding and the incident was widely reported. The agency ordered mandatory proficiency training for controllers working in airport towers handling takeoffs and landings.
Friday, June 5, 1998:Effective on this day, a FAA reorganization took place that:
  • Abolished two offices:
    • The Office of the Associate Administrator for Administration
    • The Office of Business Information and Consultation
  • Established four offices:
    • Assistant Administrator for Financial Services/CFO
    • Assistant Administrator for Financial Services/Director of Budget
    • Assistant Administrator for Human Resource Management
    • Assistant Administrator for Region/Center Operations
  • Moved two offices:
    • Office of Flight Oversight became Flight Standards Service under the Office of the Administrator for Regulation and Certification
    • Moved the Washington Flight Program Office (Hangar Six) became the Aviation Systems Standards Office within the Airway Facilities organization
  • Transferred the duties of two offices:
    • The duties of the Freedom of Information Act Office were assumed within the Office of the Assistant Administrator for Region/Center Operations
    • The duties of the Headquarters Facilities Management Office were assumed within the Office of Acquisitions under the Associate Administrator for Research and Acquisitions
Monday, June 15, 1998:Department of Transportation Secretary Slater and National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Michael McNally announced a new labor agreement between FAA and NATCA. September 9, NATCA members voted to approve the new contract. August 28, FAA and NATCA formally signed the new five-year pact in which a federal labor union negotiated wages, for the first time, with a government agency. (See January 7, 2003.)
Monday, June 15, 1998:FAA completed construction of NAS infrastructure management System (NIMS) facility located in Reston, Virginia. The facility was used to evaluate human factors, validate various commercial-off-the-shelf products and interfaces that comprise NIMS, and to develop, verify, and refine initial operational procedures. (See April 28, 1997.)
Tuesday, June 16, 1998:The National Transportation Safety Board reported that the probable cause of the crash of Fine Air Flight 101 onto a Miami street the previous summer was a combination of the actions of an inexperienced crew and the effects of an improperly loaded cargo. Federal investigators said that both the airline and FAA shared responsibility for failing to correct numerous safety problems. NTSB further chose this crash to address broader problems in FAA oversight of all airlines, drawing parallels to the 1996 fatal crash, also attributed to hazardous cargo, of a ValuJet DC-9. Several NTSB members suggested FAA should clean house at its flight standards office in Miami, the headquarters for five major all-cargo companies. NTSB’s official report on the cargo crash said the Miami office knew of deficiencies in Fine Air’s operations, but did not correct them.
Wednesday, June 17, 1998:FAA unveiled a step in its congressionally authorized personnel reform efforts – a test of a new compensation plan for about 1,200 agency employees. The new plan replaced the traditional grade and step base pay method with a structure of pay bands whose value was determined by comparison with similar jobs in government and private industry. The program linked compensation with performance. (See April 1, 1996.)
June 1998:FAA established a formal safety risk management policy through Order 8040.4. The new policy provided for a formal, but flexible, approach for managing safety risks associated with high consequence decisions.
Thursday, July 23, 1998:FAA proposed new measures to reduce potential ignition sources in Boeing 747 center wing tanks. The proposed airworthiness would require operators of Boeing 747 aircraft registered in the U.S. to take the following actions:
  • Inspect the center fuel tank to detect damage, disbonding or incorrect installation of wiring and components.
  • Test to ensure the electrical bonding of center fuel tank components to the aircraft’s structure is within limits, reworking it if necessary.
  • On certain 747s, measure the insulation resistance of the fuel quantity indication system (FQIS) to ensure that it is within limits. Also on certain aircraft, operators would have to replace FQIS components with new hardware, and replace silverplated FQIS wires with new nickel-plated wiring.
  • In certain airplanes, install a flame arrestor into the inlet line of the scavenge pumps of the center fuel tank.
  • Under the proposed rule, replacement of the FQIS components and wiring would have to be done within 24 months, or 20 years from the date the plane was built, which ever would be later. All other actions would have to be accomplished within 24 months. The rule would require operators to report inspection results to Boeing within ten days. (See May 10, 1998; August 11, 1998.)
July 1998:FAA’s new Sexual Harassment Accountability Board began operations. The Board had responsibility for providing timely response to complaints while making senior officials accountable for their workplace environments. (See July 2000.)
Tuesday, August 11, 1998:The National Transportation Safety Board urged mandatory inspections of the fuel-pump control shaft on about one-third of all commercial jet aircraft engines – including those in most Boeing 727s and 737s and McDonnell Douglas DC-9s and MD-80s. Several incidents – including one on September 6, 1997, in which a Boeing 737 was destroyed on takeoff from Najran, Saudi Arabia, as well as a Delta Airlines in-flight problem – prompted the letter from NTSB Chairman Jim Hall to FAA Administrator Jane Garvey. In the Saudia incident, the crew noticed a control panel light indicating that the right engine’s exhaust was dangerously hot. When the pilot tried to throttle back, the engine remained at a high power level, the board said. (See July 23, 1998; September 21, 1998.)
Friday, August 21, 1998:Law enforcement and transportation officials in the U.S. capital adopted tighter security measures, stepping up patrols at tourist attractions, at federal buildings and in the 95-mile subway system. Military installations across the region also increased security, causing backups at some bases as military police conducted stricter-than-normal identification checks at gates. FAA announced that officers and bomb-sniffing dogs would conduct more sweeps at U.S. airports and increase scrutiny of passengers. Security personnel were instructed to use hand-held devices to screen randomly passengers for traces of explosives. The District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Park Police, and the U.S. Capitol Police all increased patrols in key areas of the District and ordered officers to be more aware of their surroundings. The agencies declined to say how many more officers were on patrol. (See May 4, 1998; September 25, 1998.)
Friday, August 21, 1998:FAA issued a NPRM that would ban, in certain air carrier operations, the transportation of devices designed to generate oxygen chemically. This ban would include older devices that have been charged and discharged as well as newly manufactured devices that have yet to be charged. (See December 30, 1996.)
Friday, August 21, 1998:FAA issued Advisory Circular 150/5220-22, Engineered Materials, which contained standards for the planning, design, and installation of engineered materials arresting systems (EMAS) in runway safety areas. FAA and Engineered Arresting Systems Corp. (ESCO), a division of Zodiac Aerospace, developed EMAS, under a cooperative research and development agreement. EMAS, which consists of a layer of crushed concrete positioned at the end of runways, slows and stops aircraft in runway overruns. John F. Kennedy International Airport installed the first EMAS in 1998. (See May 8, 1999.)
Wednesday, August 26, 1998:FAA published a final rule in the Federal Register implementing financial responsibility and insurance coverage requirements for space launch activities it regulated. This action codified practices required under the Federal Government’s commercial space launch licensing procedures. The new regulations required a launch licensee to obtain insurance or otherwise to demonstrate financial responsibility to protect itself, the customer, the U.S. Government, and contractors and subcontractors of against claims for third-party losses and federal property damage resulting from the licensed launch activities. The agency would set insurance requirements according to a risk-based determination of the maximum probable loss that might result from the licensed activities. Launch participants, whether from industry or government, were required to enter into reciprocal waivers of claims in which each party agreed to absorb certain losses it might sustain as a result of the licensed activity. In addition, subject to the funds being appropriated, the U.S. Government agreed to pay successful third-party claims in excess of the required insurance, up to $1.5 billion s adjusted for inflation. The final rule was effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register to allow those subject to the rule to change existing practices covered by it, although the rule did not substantially change those practices previously carried out through license orders. (See April 21, 1998; September 8, 1998.)
Thursday, August 27, 1998:The National Transportation Safety Board attributed the deaths of 29 people killed in a Comair commuter plane crash in a field near Detroit in the winter of 1997 to FAA’s failure to heed decades of information about the effect of icing on aircraft performance. NTSB also said that Comair and its pilots contributed to the crash, and that the crew must share some responsibility for operating in poor weather conditions at a speed too low to provide a margin of safety. (See January 9, 1997.)
Wednesday, September 2, 1998:A Swissair jumbo jet en route from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Geneva with 228 people on board crashed off the southern coast of Nova Scotia late at night while trying to make an emergency landing. Canadian aviation officials said the three-engine McDonnell Douglas MD-11 had been diverted to Halifax International Airport, which lies about ten miles to the north of the Nova Scotian capital, after its flight crew reported smoke in the cockpit or passenger cabin about two hours after take-off. (See November 12, 1998.)
Tuesday, September 8, 1998:The 100th commercial space launch licensed by the U.S. took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. (See August 26, 1998; September 24, 1998.)
Thursday, September 24, 1998:FAA issued a space launch site operator’s license to the Alaska Aerospace Development Corp. The license allowed commercial rocket launches on the southern tip of Kodiak Island. Alaska joined California, Florida, and Virginia as states with FAA-licensed state or commercially operated space launch facilities. It was, however, the first spaceport not co-located with a federally operated launch range. FAA earlier issued commercial space launch site licenses for the operation of spaceports on leased property at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; Cape Canaveral Air Station, Florida; and at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia. (See September 8, 1998; March 15, 1999.)
Thursday, September 24, 1998:FAA awarded a $14.2 million dollar contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation to develop equipment that would provide warnings to air traffic controllers and pilots of hazardous wind shear and microburst events. Called the Weather Systems Processor (WSP) , it would forecast the arrival of wind gust fronts and tracks storm motion, providing a complete picture of current and projected hazardous weather conditions which might impact runway and airport usage. Intended be used in conjunction with Airport Surveillance Radar Model-9, WSP would be a low cost detection system suitable for installation at medium and high air traffic density airports. Its functional capability would be similar to that provided by Terminal Doppler Weather Radar, a legacy system which FAA was then deploying at 45 major airports subject to heavy thunderstorm activity. (See April 25, 2001.)
Friday, September 25, 1998:FAA announced the implementation of a final rule requiring employment background investigations and criminal history checks for airport security checkpoint screeners and screener supervisors. This new rule responded to the mandate in the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996 and was additionally recommended by the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. The rule also required airport operators and air carriers to audit employment history investigations. (See August 21, 1998; November 20, 1998.)
Monday, September 28, 1998:FAA ordered airlines to inspect, within 60 days, fuel boost pump wiring on Boeing 737-100 through -500 series aircraft with 20,000 to 30,000 flight hours. The directive also required the addition of a layer of Teflon sleeving to protect the fuel pump wires. (See August 21, 1998; October 1, 1998.)
Wednesday, September 30, 1998:FAA announced a $932,613 contract to Sensis Corporation, to develop an identification system for transponder-equipped aircraft operating on airport taxiways and runways. The airport target identification system would give airport controllers detailed information about aircraft and vehicles operating on the ground, including position, speed, and aircraft identification.
Thursday, October 1, 1998:FAA, which had launched its original aging aircraft program after an Aloha jetliner lost a chunk of its roof in 1988, announced a companion program, the aging transport non-structural systems plan, to help ensure that aircraft systems, such as those for wiring and fuel, did not fail as they grew older. The program, which grew out of the investigation of the in-flight explosion of Trans World Airlines Flight 800 that killed 230 people in 1996, included stepped-up inspections of wiring, a long-term research program, and a model-by-model assessment of each aircraft type together with other items. (See October 28, 1991; September 28, 1998; December 3, 1998; August 16, 2001.)
Thursday, October 1, 1998:FAA implemented the Air Transport Oversight System, an air carrier oversight process that advocated a systems approach to FAA certification and surveillance oversight. The new process would combine system safety techniques with risk management principles to ensure that air carriers had built safety considerations into their operating systems. (See May 13, 1998; April 8, 2002.)
Thursday, October 8, 1998:FAA, with assistance from the Helicopter Safety Advisory Conference (HSAC), implemented the world’s first Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Grid System in the Gulf of Mexico. FAA designed this navigational route structure, completely independent of ground-based navigation aids (NAVAIDs), to facilitate helicopter IFR operations to offshore destinations. The Grid System was defined by over 300 offshore waypoints located 20 minutes apart (latitude and longitude). These waypoints have five-letter identifiers systematically based so that operators and controllers can visualize the relative location. To simplify flight planning inflight data input and navigation, these waypoints were integrated into the computer database within the GPS receivers. Both flight crews and controllers used the grid system, which assisted them by: allowing for more direct routing; reducing the manual workload that controllers performed to provide separation from other helicopters; and reducing delays.
Friday, October 9, 1998:FAA Administrator Jane Garvey and NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin signed an agreement that established a new partnership in pursuit of improved aviation safety, airspace system efficiency, and aircraft environmental concerns. The agreement created an executive board comprised of senior managers from both agencies who would monitor progress and ensure that complementary aviation and commercial space transportation goals were achieved through a coordinated planning effort.
Wednesday, October 14, 1998:FAA announced that within six months it would develop a new test specification for aircraft insulation that would contribute to increased fire safety. When available for use, this new test standard would be required for use in the manufacture of all applicable aircraft. The Civil Aviation Administration of China in 1996 strongly recommended new tests after a Chinese Eastern MD-11 fire in Beijing in 1995. (See August 11, 1999.)
Thursday, October 15, 1998:A FAA Boeing 727 receiving signals from both U.S. and European satellite navigation networks performed successful flight tests at Iceland’s Keflavik Airport. The aircraft performed a series of category I precision approaches to the runway using onboard equipment that received signals from the FAA national satellite test bed, a forerunner to WAAS, and the United Kingdom’s Northern European Satellite Test Bed. (See October 20-22, 1997; December 9, 1998.)
Wednesday, October 28, 1998:FAA recommended that pilots not take impotence drugs within six hours of flying because it could affect their ability to distinguish between the blues and greens found in cockpit instrument and runway lights.
Wednesday, October 28, 1998:FAA officials told a public hearing in Rockville, Maryland, that, while a federal plan to consolidate four of their region’s air traffic control facilities would lead to an overall reduction in airplane noise, it also might aggravate the problem for some local communities. Under the plan, FAA would close the separate terminal radar control (TRACON) facilities at Dulles International, Reagan National, and Baltimore-Washington International airports and Andrews Air Force Base and open an overall center in Loudoun County or Fauquier County. (See January 7, 1999.)
Friday, November 6, 1998:President Clinton dedicated the new Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfill, Arkansas. He told the audience his administration was working to make the national aviation system better able to handle the anticipated 50-percent increase in global air travel in the coming seven years. He added that FAA and other agencies were working together “… to convert our air traffic control system to satellite technology, to change the way we inspect older aircraft, and most important over the long run, to combat terrorism with new equipment, new agents, and new methods.”
Thursday, November 12, 1998:Reacting to concerns raised by the September 2 crash of Swissair Flight 111, FAA ordered airlines to inspect two lighting dimmer switches that could overheat and emit smoke when installed in the cockpits of McDonnell Douglas MD-11 aircraft. McDonnell Douglas had issued a service bulletin three years before recommending replacement of the switches. One of the problems reported by the crew of Flight 111 before it crashed was smoke in the cockpit. (See September 2, 1998; December 9, 1998.)
Friday, November 20, 1998:FAA proposed to require foreign air carriers flying to and from the United States to implement security measures identical to those required of U.S. air carriers serving the same airports. (See September 25, 1998; November 23, 1998.)
Monday, November 23, 1998:FAA certified the eXaminer 3DX 6000 system manufactured by L-3 Communications as the second explosives detection system to meet the agency’s certification requirements. (See November 20, 1998; March 31, 1999.)
Thursday, December 3, 1998:In an emergency airworthiness directive, FAA ordered all Boeing 747 operators to carry more fuel in the center wing tank to ensure that the pumps are immersed in fuel when they are operating. (See October 1, 1998; March 3, 1999.)
Wednesday, December 9, 1998:FAA issued an airworthiness directive ordering inspection and possible replacement of electrical wiring above the forward passenger doors of McDonnell Douglas MD-11 aircraft. The order required a one-time visual inspection within ten days to detect problems such as nicks, fraying or chafing in the wiring above the left and right forward passenger doors. As part of the inquiry into the Swissair 111 crash off Nova Scotia in September, FAA learned that damaged electrical wires were found near the forward passenger doors of an MD-11 during regularly scheduled heavy maintenance. Further examination showed that, when the doors were raised to the open position, sliding panels above the doors moved inward and could have chafed the electrical wiring in those areas. The condition, if not fixed, might have led to an electrical fire in the passenger cabin. (See November 12, 1998; January 28, 1999.)
Wednesday, December 9, 1998:FAA and Chile’s Director General of Civil Aeronautics completed the first test flights in Chile demonstrating the capabilities and benefits of the Wide Area Augmentation System installation at the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport. (See October 15, 1998; January 5, 1999.)
Tuesday, December 15, 1998:Department of Transportation Secretary Slater announced that all flights of all U.S. carriers, both domestic and international, were now to be completely smoke-free. (See May 7, 1996.)
Wednesday, December 16, 1998:FAA issued a notice to airmen advising all civil aircraft operators that hostilities had begun in the airspace over Iraq and might also occur in the airspace over nearby nations and waters in the Arabian Peninsula, including the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. FAA advised that operators flying in the area should strictly comply with aircraft identification procedures and monitor international emergency frequencies.
Thursday, December 17, 1998:FAA’s small airplane directorate issued the first U.S. type certificate for a Russian type design, clearing the way for import into the United States. The type certificate was issued at a ceremony at the Ilyushin plant attended by senior Russian officials and by U.S. Ambassador James Collins. An all-metal, two-seat propeller-driven aircraft powered by a single 210 HP Teledyne Continental Motors IO-360ES engine with a Hartzell propeller, the Ilyushin IL-103 was issued Certificate Number A45CE. It was certified in the utility category.
Monday, December 21, 1998:FAA Administrator Jane Garvey announced a new streamlined administrative action process that would reduce paperwork and shorten the time it took to resolve certain violations that did not pose a serious threat to aviation safety. At that time, it was taking an average of 75 days to resolve an administrative violation. Under the new program, FAA hoped to cut that delay to as little as seven days in some cases. Inspectors could use the new process to deal with alleged violations that did not require extensive investigation. (See July 15, 1999.)
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.