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Federal Aviation Administration - History, Trivia

faa air act civil

In 1926, The Air Commerce Act was put into effect and is considered to be very important in the regulation of civil aviation. The aviation industry believed that the airplane could not become fully commercial without a federal act to impart basic safety standards. The Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 placed civil aviation regulation to a newly appointed agency, the Civil Aeronautics Authority. The Act also gave the government the authority to regulate airlane fares and routes served. In 1940, President Roosevelt divided the authority into two agencies, the Civil Aeronautics Administration or CAA and the Civil Aeronautics Board or CAB. The CAA was charged with pilot and aircraft certification, the enforcement of safety standards, and the development of airways. The CAA was charged with implementing safety rules, investigating accidents, and economic regulation. Both agencies were part of the Department of Commerce. The CAA extended the ATC responsibilities the day before America entered into World War II and became permanent after the war. The use of radar to ATC was implemented to assist controllers. Congress appointed the CAA the job of administering federal aid to the airport program in 1946. This financial assistance was aimed at the development of airports.

In 1958, the Federal Aviation Act was passed following a number of midair collisions. The U.S. Department of Transportaion or DOT combined federal responsibilities for both air and ground transport in 1967. The newly formed National Transportation Safety Board took over the CAB’s job of looking into aviation accidents. The FAA was charged with overseeing the environmental aspects of aviation in 1968 when it was tapped to set standards for aircraft noise. In 1970, legislation allowed the agency to manage a new airport aid program and other additional responsibilities for airport safety.

During the mid-1970s, the FAA was even able to control air traffic by utilizing radar and computer technology. This new system needed some changes to keep up with the growth in air traffic. Following the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, the CAB was phased out of the economic regulation of the airline industry. In the early 1980s, air traffic controllers went on strike nationwide and temporary flight restricitons were set up, but the strike was still unable to shut down the air traffic entirely. In 1982, the agency decided to automate its air traffic control facilities, but was not very progressive. In 1994, the FAA began to provide controllers with far more advanced technologies.


The FAA is in charge of the certification of aircraft in conjunction with the EASA or the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The headquarters of the FAA is located in Washington, DC.
The FAA grounded flights on 9/11 after several were hijacked and used in terrorist attacks on the United States.
Marion Blakely is the current FAA administrator.

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