FAA History: 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011:The City of St. George, UT, opened a new airport with a 9,300-foot long runway. The new airport replaced the old St. George Municipal Airport.
Friday, January 21, 2011:FAA dedicated a new airport traffic control tower at LaGuardia Airport. The new tower replaced a tower built in 1964. The total cost to design, equip, and construct the new 233-foot high tower was approximately $100 million. (See October 10, 2010.)
Thursday, February 3, 2011:FAA announced that it had signed an agreement with JetBlue that would allow the airline to fly more precise, satellite-based flights from Boston and New York to Florida and the Caribbean beginning in 2012. Under the agreement, as many as 35 of JetBlue’s A320 aircraft will be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) avionics over the next two years, enabling them to fly in two major routes off the East Coast even if traditional radar coverage was not available. The agreement also allowed JetBlue to fly a new route to the Caribbean. The FAA planned to collect valuable NextGen data by observing and conducting real-time operational evaluations of ADS-B on revenue flights. (See October 25, 2010; March 14, 2011.)
Friday, February 25, 2011:Executive Jet Management (EJM), working with Jeppesen, announced that it had secured FAA’s first approval for use of the iPad for aeronautical charting in all phases of flight. The approval followed three months of testing and 250 flight trials that included a successful rapid decompression test to 51,000 feet and noninterference testing.
Monday, February 28, 2011:The FAA and NASA released a new plan focused on human factors research for the Next Generation Air Transportation System. FAA and NASA developed this document titled, “NextGen Human Factors Research Coordination Plan,” in response to a 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office – along with previous recommendations from the JPDO and the Department of Transportation Inspector General – stating the need for a cross-agency, human factors plan that coordinated research efforts by the two agencies. (See June 7, 2010.)
Wednesday, March 9, 2011:FAA and Sensis Corporation received the Jane’s Airport Review Runway Safety Award at the 2011 ATC Global Exhibition and Conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This was the first year for the Runway Safety award category, which recognized a contribution to improved safety on or near the runway. The award recognized the FAA’s deployment of Sensis Corporation Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X (ASDE-X) technology at 35 major U.S. airports, including five of the world’s ten busiest airports. (See July 29, 2010.)
Monday, March 14, 2011:FAA commissioned Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment on its Airbus 330/340 flight simulator at the FAA Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. The one year, $1 million project featured other enhancements, such as dual electronic flight bags with traffic information display; an air/ground display of traffic bearing/speed/altitude indicator cueing; a new traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) integrated with ADS-B; and a fully integrated simulator visual system and electronic flight bag for up to 50 aircraft. (See February 3, 2011.)
Monday, March 21, 2011:Effective this date, FAA prohibited flight operations with the Tripoli Flight Information Region by all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons are operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators are foreign air carriers. FAA issued this regulation because the ongoing armed conflict in Libya and presented a potential hazard to civil aviation.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011:Effective this date, FAA required all certificate holders conducting operations under Part 135 to include in their training programs crew resource management training for crewmembers, including pilots and flight attendants.
Friday, March 25, 2011:As part of the Alaskan Aviation Camera Program begun in 1999, FAA turned on its 150th weather camera in Talkeetna. The FAA uses these cameras to view sky conditions around airports, air routes, and mountain passes. They provide pilots with critical weather information to help them decide whether it is safe to fly.
Monday, April 11, 2011:FAA announced its new David J. Hurley Air Traffic Control System Command Center, located in Warrenton, VA, was fully operational. The new Command Center, co-located with the FAA’s Potomac Terminal Radar Approach Control, or TRACON, is responsible for managing the overall use of the national airspace system. Traffic management specialists balance air traffic demand with system capacity, working with aviation stakeholders to handle any constraints in the system, such as weather, runway closures and delays. (See December 4, 2008.)
Wednesday, April 13, 2011:FAA announced that effective immediately, it was placing an additional air traffic controller on the midnight shift at 27 control towers around the country staffed with only one controller during that time. FAA took this action after an incident at Reno-Tahoe International Airport when a controller fell asleep while a medical flight carrying an ill patient attempted to land. The medical flight pilot communicated with the Northern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) and landed safely. FAA suspended the controller, who was out of communication for approximately 16 minutes, while it investigated the incident. (See April 14, 2011.)
Thursday, April 14, 2011:FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt announced he had accepted the resignation of ATO COO Hank Krakowski. In his statement, Babbitt said, “Over the last few weeks we have seen examples of unprofessional conduct on the part of a few individuals that have rightly caused the traveling public to question our ability to ensure their safety. This conduct must stop immediately.” David Grizzle, FAA’s Chief Counsel, became acting COO, and on July 7, 2011, Administrator Babbitt announced that Grizzle would be the permanent COO. (See October 2, 2007; April 13, 2011; April 17, 2011.)
Sunday, April 17, 2011:Administrator Babbitt announced changes to air traffic controller scheduling practices after suspending an air traffic controller the day before for falling asleep while on duty during the midnight shift at the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center. The new scheduling rules included:
  • Controllers would now have a minimum of nine hours off between shifts. Currently they may have as few as eight.
  • Controllers would no longer be able to swap shifts unless they have a minimum of 9 hours off between the last shift they worked and the one they want to begin.
  • Controllers would no longer be able to switch to an unscheduled midnight shift following a day off.
  • FAA managers would schedule their own shifts in a way to ensure greater coverage in the early morning and late night hours. (See April 14, 2011; July 1, 2011.)
Monday, April 18, 2011:The United States signed its 102nd Open Skies Agreement with Saudi Arabia that liberalized air services for airlines of both countries. (See December 3, 2010; July 11, 2011.)
Friday, May 20, 2011:FAA dedicated a new airport traffic control tower at Long Island MacArthur Airport. The new 158-foot high tower, which replaced a tower built in 1963, housed a 525-square-foot tower cab. The total cost to design, equip, and construct the new tower was approximately $20 million.
Thursday, June 2, 2011:FAA announced it would begin to impose civil penalties against people who point a laser into the cockpit of aircraft. An agency legal interpretation determined that shining a laser beam into an aircraft cockpit could disrupt a flight crew’s ability to perform its duties while operating an aircraft, in violation of Federal Aviation Regulations. The FAA could impose a civil penalty of up to $11,000 on an individual who interferes with a flight crew.
Friday, July 1, 2011:FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) announced agreement on a number of fatigue recommendations developed by a joint FAA-NATCA working group. The agreement reinforced existing FAA policy that prohibits air traffic controllers from sleeping while they are performing assigned duties. FAA and NATCA also agreed that all air traffic controllers must report for work well rested and mentally alert. As a result of this agreement, air traffic controllers can now request to take leave if they are too fatigued to work air traffic. (See April 17, 2011.)
Friday, July 1, 2011:FAA revoked the operating certificate of Bimini Island Air. The Fort Lauderdale-based on-demand operator surrendered its certificate on July 1 after an emergency order of revocation was issued the previous month.
Monday, July 11, 2011:The United States and Macedonia reached an Open-Skies aviation agreement, which allowed airlines of the two countries to select routes, destinations and prices for both passenger and cargo service based on consumer demand and market conditions. It was the first aviation agreement between the two countries, and was the 103rd U.S. open skies agreement. (See April 18, 2011; December 5, 2011.)
Saturday, July 23, 2011:FAA furloughed 4,000 employees and stopped work on a number of airport improvement projects when Congress failed to pass the 21st reauthorization extension for the agency. The employees, paid out of the aviation trust fund, included engineers, scientists, administrative assistants, computer specialists, program managers and analysts, environmental protection specialists, and community planners. Congress passed an extension of FAA’s reauthorization on August 4, allowing FAA employees to return to work. On September 13, the House passed the 22nd extension; the Senate passed the bill for the four-month extension on September 15. The bill extended then current funding levels through January 31, 2012.
Saturday, July 23, 2011:FAA dedicated a new 254 foot tall airport traffic control tower at Dayton International Airport.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011:An FAA contract award to Harris Corporation was announced. Under the 10-year contract, worth $85 million, Harris would replace and upgrade the existing satellite communications network that links the Alaska Air Route Traffic Control Center in Anchorage with 64 FAA facilities throughout the region.
Monday, August 1, 2011:Effective this date, air traffic controllers could once again ride in aircraft cockpits with commercial pilots as part of a voluntary education program. The Flight Deck Training program, designed to improve safety by giving air traffic controllers a greater understanding of the pilots’ experience and workload in the cockpit, replaced a previous program called Familiarization Training, or FAM trip, which was suspended in 2001. Controllers are limited to two training trips in a calendar year instead of the eight permitted under a FAM trip, and controllers cannot fly to the same airport on consecutive flights. A controller must have advanced approval to participate and must also submit an itinerary, as well as medical and security information. Foreign travel was not permitted.
Friday, August 19, 2011:FAA issued a final rule that prohibited air carriers and other certificate holders from employing certain former FAA aviation safety inspectors as company representatives to the agency for a period of two years after they have left the agency. These restrictions applied if the former FAA employee directly served as or was responsible for the oversight of a Flight Standards Service aviation safety inspector and had direct responsibility to inspect, or oversaw the inspection of, the operations of the certificate holder. This rule also applied to persons who own or manage fractional ownership program aircraft used to conduct certain commercial operations. (See November 20, 2011.)
Friday, August 19, 2011:FAA issued a new rule that required scheduled airlines to install ice detection equipment in their existing fleets or to update their flight manuals to ensure crews know when to activate their ice protection systems. For aircraft equipped with an ice-detection system, the new rule mandated that the system alert the crew every time they needed to activate ice protection. The system could either automatically turn on the ice protection or pilots could manually activate it. For aircraft without ice-detection equipment, the crew must activate the protection system based on cues listed in their airplane’s flight manual during climb and descent, and at the first sign of icing when at cruising altitude. The rule applied only to in-service aircraft that weighed less than 60,000 pounds because studies showed smaller planes were more affected by undetected icing or late activation of the ice protection system. (See April 26, 2007.)
Tuesday, August 23, 2011:New consumer protections for airline passengers went into effect mandating airlines to refund any fee for carrying a bag if the bag is lost. Airlines must prominently disclose all optional fees on their websites, including but not limited to fees for baggage, meals, canceling or changing reservations, or advanced or upgraded seating. The new rules also doubled the amount of money passengers were eligible to be compensated for in the event they were involuntarily bumped from an oversold flight. The rule expanded the existing ban on lengthy tarmac delays to cover the international flights of foreign airlines at U.S. airports, and established a hard four-hour time limit on tarmac delays for all international flights at U.S. airports. It also extended the three-hour tarmac delay limit for domestic flights, then in place at large-hub and medium-hub airports, to flights at small-hub and non-hub airports. All carriers subjected to the tarmac rule would be required to report lengthy tarmac delays to DOT. In all cases, exceptions to the time limits were allowed only for safety, security or air traffic control-related reasons. Carriers must also ensure that passengers stuck on the tarmac are provided adequate food and water after two hours, as well as working lavatories and any necessary medical treatment. (See June 2, 2010; November 14, 2011.) Additional measures under the new rule would take effect January 24, 2012, including:
  • Requiring all taxes and fees to be included in advertised fares.
  • Banning post-purchase price increases.
  • Allowing passengers to hold a reservation without payment, or to cancel it without penalty, for 24 hours after the reservation is made, if the reservation is made one week or more prior to a flight’s departure date.
  • Requiring disclosure of baggage fees when passengers book a flight.
  • Requiring that the same baggage allowances and fees apply throughout a passenger’s journey.
  • Requiring disclosure of baggage fee information on e-ticket confirmations.
  • Requiring prompt notification of delays of over 30 minutes, as well as cancellations and diversions.
Friday, August 26, 2011:At an event at Boeing’s facility in Everett, Washington, Administrator Babbitt presented Boeing executives with two certificates for the design and production of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with Rolls-Royce engines. The first, a type certificate, was for the FAA’s approval of the airplane’s design. The second, a production certificate, allowed Boeing to manufacture the 787 following a rigorous review by FAA inspectors of Boeing’s quality system, production tooling, manufacturing processes and controls, inspection methods, and supplier control procedures. The Dreamliner made its inaugural flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong with paying passengers on October 26, 2011. (See December 4, 2012.)
Wednesday, September 7, 2011:Airport were now using a tool it developed with the FAA. The automated terminal proximity alert (ATPA) tool automatically lets controllers know what the distance is between aircraft that are flying in-line instrument approaches. The system also visually alerts a controller when a trailing plane is predicted to get too close to an aircraft ahead of it, allowing the controller to take action before a loss of standard separation occurs.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011:U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Australian Ambassador to the United States Kim Beazley signed a memorandum of agreement to continue research and development of clean, sustainable alternative aviation fuels. The agreement called for Australia and the United States to exchange information about policies, programs, projects, research results, and publications, and to conduct joint studies in areas such as fuel sources and environmental impacts. The memorandum also facilitated analysis of fuel source supply chains. (See October 21, 2010; November 7, 2011.)
Friday, September 23, 2011:In a message to FAA employees, Administrator Babbitt announced that Congress had approved FAA’s reprogramming request. The request, dated June 30, 2011, proposed to shift approximately $608 million in funding between budget accounts to execute a reorganization of the agency. With congressional approval, the FAA moved the organization responsible for NextGen from the ATO to a new office reporting directly to the FAA deputy administrator. The ATO senior vice president for NextGen and Operations Planning became the Assistant Administrator for NextGen. The Joint Planning and Development Office also became a direct report to the deputy administrator. In addition, the agency created a Senior Vice President for Program Management within the ATO. Programs covering approximately 125 Capital Investment Plan budget line items moved into the new organization. A new assistant administrator for finance and management, reporting to the administrator, took over the separate offices that managed acquisition and business services, financial services, and regions and center operations. All of FAA’s financial, information technology, non-ATO acquisition, property management, and related administrative functions now reported to this new organization. The assistant administrator had four deputies, once for each functional area. (See May 3, 2010.)
Saturday, October 1, 2011:Effective this date, FAA updated its fee structure. The fee levels that would eventually be achieved reflect increases above then levels of 69 percent in the en route environment and 36 percent in the oceanic environment. This would be accomplished by increasing the fees on October 1 in each of the years 2011 through 2014 at annual compounded rates of 14 percent for en route and 8 percent for oceanic. (See September 28, 2010.) The actual dollar amounts of each fee on the four revision dates would be:
Fee revision date
En route (per
100 nautical miles)
Oceanic (per
100 nautical miles)
October 1, 2011
October 1, 2012
October 1, 2013
October 1, 2014
Friday, October 7, 2011:FAA announced approval of the first public use helicopter area navigation routes (RNAV) known as TK routes. The new TK routes connected New York City with Washington, DC. Publishing the RNAV routes on IFR en route low altitude charts offered helicopter operators several benefits, such as dedicated routes and IFR capability. (See August 6, 2007.)
Monday, October 17, 2011:FAA broke ground on a new $69 million, 324-foot air traffic control tower and terminal radar approach control facility at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The new tower would replace one opened in 1988. FAA expected to commission the new tower and TRACON in late 2014.
Thursday, October 20, 2011:FAA dedicated the new $72.6 million, 336-foot-tall air traffic control tower and TRACON at Memphis International Airport.
Monday, October 31, 2011:Beginning this date, FAA required pilots of business jets certified for single-pilot operations to pass yearly proficiency checks. The rule required approximately 3,000 US-based pilots to have flight checks, which must be performed either in full-flight simulators or in an aircraft with an FAA-designated examiner on board.
Monday, November 7, 2011:United Airlines flew the first-ever commercial domestic flight using a blend of 40% biofuel mix created from algae by Solazyme, a San Francisco based company and traditional jet fuel. (See September 13, 2011; December 1, 2011.)
Monday, November 14, 2011:DOT announced it had imposed the first fine for violating the April 2010 three-hour tarmac delay rule. DOT fined American Eagle $900,000 in civil penalties and ordered the air carrier to cease and desist from future violations of the tarmac delay rule. On May 29, 2011, American Eagle had tarmac delays of more than three hours on 15 flights arriving at O’Hare. Those 15 flights had tarmac delays of up to 225 minutes, which was 45 minutes beyond the limit. While the airline had a procedure in place to bring passengers subject to an extended tarmac delay back to the gate, the carrier was late in implementing its procedure, resulting in violations of the rule. A total of $650,000 had to be paid within 30 days, and up to $250,000 could be credited for refunds, vouchers, and frequent flyer mile awards to the passengers on the 15 flights, as well as to passengers on future flights that experience lengthy tarmac delays of less than three hours. (See August 23, 2011.)
Monday, November 28, 2011:The Air Transport Association formally changed its name to Airlines for America with the slogan “We Connect the World.” The name change was publicly announced on Capitol Hill on November 30. (See January 3, 1936.)
Tuesday, November 29, 2011:FAA dedicated the new Environmental Modeling Lab at its Washington, DC, headquarters. The facility allowed the FAA to develop and use the tools necessary to assess aviation environmental impacts and advise policy and regulatory decision-making processes, both domestically and internationally.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011:AMR, the parent company of American Airlines filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011:FAA granted United Continental Holdings a single operating certificate allowing Continental and United to operate as one airline. (See October 1, 2010.)
Wednesday, November 30, 2011:DOT hosted a forum on flight diversions to examine what happened on October 29 when the poor weather caused a massive diversion of flights from the New York area airports to other airports, including Bradley Airport in Hartford, CT. Flights sat on the tarmac for hours at Bradley as the aviation system in place broke down under the sheer volume and speed of an October snowfall, strong winds, long-scheduled runway maintenance, and equipment outages at the New York area airports. The baggage system also broke down at Bradley due to the volume of air traffic diverted there, and there was insufficient Customs and Border Protection staff to handle diverted flights coming from international destinations. The forum’s 100 participants met in three breakout groups – airport operations, airline operations, and the customer experience – to discuss how the events of October 29 could have been prevented. They addressed five FAA proposed recommendations on how to improve procedures at airports to reduce the impact caused by inclement weather. The groups unanimously agreed that increased collaboration and real-time information sharing via an airport information portal managed by the FAA would help alleviate prolonged tarmac delays. Other recommendations included coordinating contingency plans among all airports in a given region; clearly identifying diverted flights on the monitoring systems used by air traffic controllers and airport operators to delineate between them and regularly scheduled air traffic at a given airport; and including smaller airports on the FAA’s routine strategic planning teleconferences where information is routinely exchanged on diverting flights.
Thursday, December 1, 2011:FAA announced it had awarded $7.7 million in contracts to eight companies to help advance alternative, environmentally-friendly, sustainable sources for commercial jet fuel. (See November 7, 2011.) The FAA funds were distributed by the Department of Transportation’s John A. Volpe Center. The eight companies selected for the contracts helped the FAA develop and approve alternative, sustainably-sourced “drop-in” jet fuels that could be used without changing aircraft engine systems or airport fueling infrastructure. As part of that work, the companies will develop these biofuels from sources such as alcohols, sugars, biomass, and organic materials known as pyrolysis oils. In addition, the contracts called for research into alternative jet fuel quality control, examination of how jet biofuels affect engine durability, and guidance to jet biofuel users about factors that affect sustainability. Awardees included:
  • $1.1 million for Honeywell UOP of Des Plaines, IL
  • $3 million for LanzaTech, Inc. of Roselle, IL
  • $1.5 million for Virent Energy Systems of Madison, WI
  • $1.5 million for Velocys, Inc. of Plain City, OH
  • $280,000 for Honeywell Aerospace of Phoenix, AZ
  • $250,000 for Metron Aviation, Inc. of Dulles, VA
  • $50,000 for Futurepast: Inc. of Arlington, VA
  • $25,000 for Life Cycle Associates, LLC of Portola Valley, CA
Monday, December 5, 2011:FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt announced he would be taking an extended leave of absence from the agency. DOT Secretary appointed FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Huerta acting administrator. The following day, on December 6, Babbitt announced his resignation from the FAA.
Monday, December 5, 2011:The United States and Montenegro concluded an Open-Skies aviation agreement that liberalized air services for the carriers of both countries. This was the first aviation agreement between Montenegro and the United States. Previously, air rights between the two countries were governed by an agreement between the United States and Yugoslavia. Under the Open-Skies agreement, the airlines of both countries could fly to, from, and beyond the other’s territory, without restriction on how often carriers fly, the kind of aircraft they use and the prices they charge. The agreement made Montenegro the 105th U.S. Open-Skies partner. (See July 11, 2011; December 13, 2011.)
Sunday, December 11, 2011:J. Lynn Helms, FAA’s eighth administrator, died at the age of 86. During his tenure as Administrator, he played a key role in keeping the NAS operating during the August 3, 1981 air traffic control strike, headed the U.S. delegation to the United Nations emergency session following the Soviet Union’s shooting down of Korean Air Flight 007, spearheaded FAA’s development of TCAS, and initiated the National Airspace Review to develop methods and procedures for improved safety and operational efficiency in use of all national airspace. Helms also originated and oversaw development of the 1982 National Airspace System (NAS) Plan. The 450-page document spelled out specific improvements to be made to facilities and equipment to meet the projected demands of air transportation. (See April 22, 1981.)
Tuesday, December 13, 2011:Republic Airways Holdings announced plans to sell Frontier Airlines.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011:The United States and St. Christopher and Nevis signed an Open- Skies aviation agreement that liberalized air services for the carriers of both countries. Previously, aviation relations between the two countries were governed by Bermuda II, the former aviation agreement between the United States and United Kingdom which restricted route rights and pricing. Under the Open-Skies agreement, the airlines of both countries could fly to, from and beyond the other’s territory, without restriction on how often carriers flew, the kind of aircraft they used, and the prices they charged. The agreement made St. Christopher and Nevis the 104th U.S. Open-Skies partner. (See December 5, 2011.)
Wednesday, December 14, 2011:FAA certified the passenger version of the new 747-8 Intercontinental jumbo jet. At 250 feet long with a 225-foot wingspan, the 747-8 was the largest Boeing jet and carries 467 passengers in a typical 3-class airline configuration. The list price of the aircraft was$333 million, though aircraft valuation firm Avitas estimated the real market value after standard discounts at about $167 million.
Thursday, December 15, 2011:Fort Lauderdale-based regional carrier Gulfstream International Airlines rebranded itself as Silver Airways.
Friday, December 16, 2011:Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and DOT Secretary Ray LaHood sent a letter to several European Commission officials, including EU President Jose Manuel Barroso, saying the U.S. would take “appropriate action” if the EU did not change its policy of including international aviation in the emissions trading scheme. The letter stated the U.S. had a “strong record of performance” in reducing emissions and in researching sustainable and other initiatives and the emissions trading policy was inconsistent with international law. The letter did not identify what actions the U.S. may take. The previous week, DOT ordered U.S. and European carriers to submit emission trading scheme data to the U.S. government, in a move that many believed to be the first step in a potential U.S. retaliation against the policy.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011:FAA issued a final rule mandating pilot flight and duty requirements. (See September 14, 2010.) Airlines had two years to comply. The rule did not apply to cargo carriers. Key components of this final rule for commercial passenger flights included:
  • Varying flight and duty requirements based on what time the pilot’s day begins. The new rule incorporated the latest fatigue science to set different requirements for pilot flight time, duty period and rest based on the time of day pilots begin their first flight, the number of scheduled flight segments and the number of time zones they cross.
  • The previous rules included different rest requirements for domestic, international and unscheduled flights.
  • Flight duty period. The allowable length of a flight duty period depended on when the pilot’s day begins and the number of flight segments he or she was expected to fly, and ranged from 9-14 hours for single crew operations. The flight duty period began when a flightcrew member reported for duty, with the intention of conducting a flight and ended when the aircraft is parked after the last flight. It included the period of time before a flight or between flights that a pilot was working without an intervening rest period. Flight duty included deadhead transportation, training in an aircraft or flight simulator, and airport standby or reserve duty if these tasks occurred before a flight or between flights without an intervening required rest period.
  • Flight time limits of eight or nine hours. The FAA limited flight time – when the plane was moving under its own power before, during, or after flight – to 8 or 9 hours depending on the start time of the pilot’s entire flight duty period.
  • 10-hour minimum rest period. The rule set a 10-hour minimum rest period prior to the flight duty period, a two-hour increase over the old rules. The new rule also mandated that a pilot must have an opportunity for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep within the 10-hour rest period.
  • New cumulative flight duty and flight time limits. The new rule addressed potential cumulative fatigue by placing weekly and 28-day limits on the amount of time a pilot could be assigned any type of flight duty. The rule also placed 28-day and annual limits on actual flight time. It also required that pilots have at least 30 consecutive hours free from duty on a weekly basis, a 25 percent increase over the old rules.
  • Fitness for duty. The FAA expected pilots and airlines to take joint responsibility when considering if a pilot was fit for duty, including fatigue resulting from pre-duty activities such as commuting. At the beginning of each flight segment, a pilot was required to affirmatively state his or her fitness for duty. If a pilot reported he or she was fatigued and unfit for duty, the airline had to remove that pilot from duty immediately.
  • Fatigue Risk Management System. An airline could develop an alternative way of mitigating fatigue based on science and using data validated by the FAA and continuously monitored.
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.