First ARSR-4 Commissioned by the FAA

On April 12, 1996, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commissioned the nation’s first Air Route Surveillance Radar 4 (ARSR-4) air route surveillance radar. An Air Route Surveillance Radar is a long-range radar system used by the United States Air (USAF) Force and the FAA to control airspace within and around the borders of the United […]

Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) 50th Anniversary

  Fifty years ago (March 8, 1974), began service, offering only one runway and one main terminal, which to this day is still Terminal 1. After opening, the airport was renamed to Charles de Gaulle after the former President who died in 1970). In its first year of operation, the airport handled 2.5 million passengers […]

The First Completely Computerized Landing

On December 8, 1964, a United Air Lines Caravelle jet made the first completely computerized landing (automatic touchdown) at Dulles International Airport (IAD). How landings play out? Limited visibility operations are divided into categories outlining the decision height (DH) and runway visual range (RVR). The decision height is the minimum height at which a pilot […]

Hijacking of Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305

The aviation industry has come a long way in terms of commercial aviation safety, but on November 24, 1971, the first hijacking involving extortion occurred during a flight from Portland to Seattle. The hijacker- who may have been named Dan Cooper- told a flight attendant he was armed with a bomb, demanded $200,000 in ransom […]

Opening of Dulles International Airport

On November 17, 1962 ceremonies marked the o. The first airlines to fly into Dulles were Braniff, Delta, Eastern, Northwest, and TWA. Dulles went from serving over 54,800 travelers in its first year to over 23 million per year today. Another change was its original identifier. Due to passenger confusion between Dulles and the Dallas […]

  On October 6, 1997, the FAA commissioned the first precision runway monitor (PRM) at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. The system allowed simultaneous independent instrument landing system (ILS) approaches to parallel runways spaced less than 4,300 feet apart.  

Washington National Airport (DCA)

On June 16, 1941, Washington National Airport opened for full-time operations. President Roosevelt attended a ceremony and observed the first official landing. The airlines drew straws to determine who could land at National Airport first, and American Airlines won the honor. The plane was piloted by Bennett H. Griffin, who later became the manager of […]