A bicycle helmet is designed to attenuate impacts to the head of a cyclist in falls while minimizing side effects such as interference with peripheral vision. There is ongoing scientific research into the degree of protection offered by bicycle helmets in the event of an accident, the effects of helmet wearing on cyclist and motor vehicle driver behaviour. There is active debate over what can be concluded from available studies, on whether the use of helmets by cyclists should be promoted or mandated, either just for children, or for cyclists of all ages. In particular the debate over bicycle helmet laws is intense and bitter based not only on differing interpretations of the scientific and other academic literature, but on differing assumptions and interests of various parties. A cycle helmet should be light in weight and provide ample ventilation because cycling can be an intense aerobic activity which raises body temperature, the head in particular needs to be able to regulate its temperature.
The dominant form of the helmet up to the 1970s was the leather "hairnet" style. This offered acceptable protection from scrapes and cuts, but only minimal impact protection, was used by racing cyclists. More widespread use of helmets began in the US in the 1970s. After many decades, when bicycles were regarded only as children's toys, many American adults took up cycling during and after the bike boom of the 1970s. Two of the first modern bicycle helmets were made by MSR, a manufacturer of mountaineering equipment, Bell Sports, a manufacturer of helmets for auto racing and motorcycles; these helmets were a spin-off from the development of expanded polystyrene foam liners for motorcycling and motorsport helmets and had hard polycarbonate plastic shells. The bicycle helmet arm of Bell was split off in 1991 as Bell Sports Inc. having overtaken the motorcycle and motorsports helmet business. The first commercially successful purpose-designed bicycle helmet was the Bell Biker, a polystyrene-lined hard shell released in 1975.
At the time there was no appropriate standard. Over time the design was refined and by 1983 Bell were making the V1-Pro, the first polystyrene helmet intended for racing use. In 1984 Bell produced a no-shell children's helmet; these early helmets had little ventilation. In 1985, Snell B85 was introduced, the first adopted standard for bicycle helmets. At this time helmets were all either hard-shell or no-shell. Ventilation was still minimal due to technical limitations of the foams and shells in use. Around 1990 a new construction technique was invented: in-mould micro shell. A thin shell was incorporated during the moulding process; this became the dominant technology, allowing for larger vents and more complex shapes than hard shells. Use of hard shells declined among the general cyclist population during the 1990s disappearing from road and cross country mountain bike helmets by the end of the decade, but remaining popular with BMX riders and more aggressive mountain bike disciplines such as downhill riding.
The late 1990s and early 2000s saw advances in retention and fitting systems, with cradles which adjust to the rider's head, replacing the old system of varying thickness pads. This resulted in the back of the head being less covered by the helmet, although more recent designs have addressed this. Since more advanced helmets began being used in the Tour de France, carbon fiber inserts are used to increase strength and protection of the helmet; the Giro Atmos and Ionos, as well as the Bell Alchera, were among the first to use carbon fiber. Some modern road and track racing bicycle helmets have a long tapering back end for streamlining; this type of helmet is dedicated to time trial racing as they lack significant ventilation, making them uncomfortable for long races. In the United States the Snell Memorial Foundation, an organization established to create standards for motorcycle and auto racing helmets, implemented one of the first standards, since updated. Snell's standard includes testing of random samples.
In 1990 the Consumers' Association market survey showed that around 90 % of helmets on sale were Snell B90 certified. By their 1998 survey, the number of Snell certified helmets was around zero. There are two main types of helmet: hard soft/micro shell. Hard shells declined among the general cyclist population over this period disappearing by the end of the decade, but remained more popular with BMX riders as well as inline skaters and skateboarders; the American National Standards Institute created a standard called ANSI Z80.4 in 1984. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission created its own mandatory standard for all bicycle helmets sold in the United States, which took effect in March 1999. In the European Union the applicable standards are EN 1078:1997 and EN 1080:1997. An additional and voluntary standard was created by Swedish medical professionals. MIPS compliant helmets are intended to reduce rotational violence to the brain caused by angled impacts. In Australia and New Zealand, the current legally-required standard is AS/NZS 2063.
A 2004 report concluded that the performance requirements of the 1996 version of this standard was less strict than the Snell B95 standard but incorporated a quality assurance requirement, making it arguably safer. The standards are intended to reduce acceleration to the head due to impac
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration is a federal agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments. The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the control and supervision of food safety, tobacco products, dietary supplements and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs, biopharmaceuticals, blood transfusions, medical devices, electromagnetic radiation emitting devices, animal foods & feed and veterinary products; as of 2017, 3/4th of the FDA budget is paid by people who consume pharmaceutical products, due to the Prescription Drug User Fee Act. The FDA was empowered by the United States Congress to enforce the Federal Food and Cosmetic Act, which serves as the primary focus for the Agency; these include regulating lasers, cellular phones and control of disease on products ranging from certain household pets to sperm donation for assisted reproduction. The FDA is led by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The Commissioner reports to the Secretary of Human Services. Scott Gottlieb, M. D. is the current commissioner, who took over in May 2017. The FDA has its headquarters in Maryland; the agency has 223 field offices and 13 laboratories located throughout the 50 states, the United States Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico. In 2008, the FDA began to post employees to foreign countries, including China, Costa Rica, Chile and the United Kingdom. In recent years, the agency began undertaking a large-scale effort to consolidate its 25 operations in the Washington metropolitan area, moving from its main headquarters in Rockville and several fragmented office buildings to the former site of the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in the White Oak area of Silver Spring, Maryland; the site was renamed from the White Oak Naval Surface Warfare Center to the Federal Research Center at White Oak. The first building, the Life Sciences Laboratory, was dedicated and opened with 104 employees on the campus in December 2003. Only one original building from the naval facility was kept.
All other buildings are new construction. The project is slated to be completed by 2021, assuming future Congressional funding While most of the Centers are located in the Washington, D. C. area as part of the Headquarters divisions, two offices – the Office of Regulatory Affairs and the Office of Criminal Investigations – are field offices with a workforce spread across the country. The Office of Regulatory Affairs is considered the "eyes and ears" of the agency, conducting the vast majority of the FDA's work in the field. Consumer Safety Officers, more called Investigators, are the individuals who inspect production and warehousing facilities, investigate complaints, illnesses, or outbreaks, review documentation in the case of medical devices, biological products, other items where it may be difficult to conduct a physical examination or take a physical sample of the product; the Office of Regulatory Affairs is divided into five regions, which are further divided into 20 districts. Districts are based on the geographic divisions of the federal court system.
Each district comprises a main district office and a number of Resident Posts, which are FDA remote offices that serve a particular geographic area. ORA includes the Agency's network of regulatory laboratories, which analyze any physical samples taken. Though samples are food-related, some laboratories are equipped to analyze drugs and radiation-emitting devices; the Office of Criminal Investigations was established in 1991 to investigate criminal cases. Unlike ORA Investigators, OCI Special Agents are armed, don't focus on technical aspects of the regulated industries. OCI agents pursue and develop cases where individuals and companies have committed criminal actions, such as fraudulent claims, or knowingly and willfully shipping known adulterated goods in interstate commerce. In many cases, OCI pursues cases involving Title 18 violations, in addition to prohibited acts as defined in Chapter III of the FD&C Act. OCI Special Agents come from other criminal investigations backgrounds, work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Assistant Attorney General, Interpol.
OCI receives cases from a variety of sources—including ORA, local agencies, the FBI—and works with ORA Investigators to help develop the technical and science-based aspects of a case. OCI is a smaller branch; the FDA works with other federal agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Protection, Consumer Product Safety Commission. Local and state government agencies work with the FDA to provide regulatory inspections and enforcement action; the FDA regulates more than US$2.4 trillion worth of consumer goods, about 25% of consumer expenditures in the United States. This includes $466 billion in food sales, $275 billion in drugs, $60 billion in cosmetics and $18 billion in vitamin supplements. Much of these expenditures are for goods imported into the United States; the FDA's federal budget request for fiscal year 2012 totaled $4.36 billion, while the proposed 2014 budget is $4.7 billion. About $2 billion of this budget is generated by user fees.
Pharmaceutical firms pay th
A whistleblower is a person who exposes any kind of information or activity, deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within an organization, either private or public. The information of alleged wrongdoing can be classified in many ways: violation of company policy/rules, regulation, or threat to public interest/national security, as well as fraud, corruption; those who become whistleblowers can choose to bring information or allegations to surface either internally or externally. Internally, a whistleblower can bring his/her accusations to the attention of other people within the accused organization such as an immediate supervisor. Externally, a whistleblower can bring allegations to light by contacting a third party outside of an accused organization such as the media, law enforcement, or those who are concerned. Whistleblowers, take the risk of facing stiff reprisal and retaliation from those who are accused or alleged of wrongdoing; because of this, a number of laws exist to protect whistleblowers.
Some third-party groups offer protection to whistleblowers, but that protection can only go so far. Whistleblowers face legal action, criminal charges, social stigma, termination from any position, office, or job. Two other classifications of whistleblowing are public; the classifications relate to the type of organizations someone chooses to whistle-blow on: private sector, or public sector. Depending on many factors, both can have varying results. However, whistleblowing in the public sector organization is more to result in criminal charges and possible custodial sentences. A whistleblower who chooses to accuse a private sector organization or agency is more to face termination and legal and civil charges. Deeper questions and theories of whistleblowing and why people choose to do so can be studied through an ethical approach. Whistleblowing is a topic of ongoing ethical debate. Leading arguments in the ideological camp that whistleblowing is ethical maintain that whistleblowing is a form of civil disobedience, aims to protect the public from government wrongdoing.
In the opposite camp, some see whistleblowing as unethical for breaching confidentiality in industries that handle sensitive client or patient information. Legal protection can be granted to protect whistleblowers, but that protection is subject to many stipulations. Hundreds of laws grant protection to whistleblowers, but stipulations can cloud that protection and leave whistleblowers vulnerable to retaliation and legal trouble. However, the decision and action has become far more complicated with recent advancements in technology and communication. Whistleblowers face reprisal, sometimes at the hands of the organization or group they have accused, sometimes from related organizations, sometimes under law. Questions about the legitimacy of whistleblowing, the moral responsibility of whistleblowing, the appraisal of the institutions of whistleblowing are part of the field of political ethics. U. S. civic activist Ralph Nader is said to have coined the phrase, but he in fact put a positive spin on the term in the early 1970s to avoid the negative connotations found in other words such as "informer" and "snitch".
However, the origins of the word date back to the 19th century. The word is linked to the use of a whistle to alert the public or a crowd about a bad situation, such as the commission of a crime or the breaking of rules during a game; the phrase whistle blower attached itself to law enforcement officials in the 19th century because they used a whistle to alert the public or fellow police. Sports referees, who use a whistle to indicate an illegal or foul play were called whistle blowers. An 1883 story in the Janesville Gazette called a policeman who used his whistle to alert citizens about a riot a whistle blower, without the hyphen. By the year 1963, the phrase had become whistle-blower; the word began to be used by journalists in the 1960s for people who revealed wrongdoing, such as Nader. It evolved into the compound word whistleblower. Most whistleblowers are internal whistleblowers, who report misconduct on a fellow employee or superior within their company through anonymous reporting mechanisms called hotlines.
One of the most interesting questions with respect to internal whistleblowers is why and under what circumstances do people either act on the spot to stop illegal and otherwise unacceptable behavior or report it. There are some reasons to believe that people are more to take action with respect to unacceptable behavior, within an organization, if there are complaint systems that offer not just options dictated by the planning and control organization, but a choice of options for absolute confidentiality. Anonymous reporting mechanisms, as mentioned help foster a climate whereby employees are more to report or seek guidance regarding potential or actual wrongdoing without fear of retaliation; the coming anti-bribery management systems standard, ISO 37001, includes anonymous reporting as one of the criteria for the new standard. External whistleblowers, report misconduct to outside persons or entities. In these cases, depending on the information's severity and nature, whistleblowers may report the misconduct to lawyers, the media, law enforcement or watchdog agencies, or other local, state, or federal agencies.
In some cases, external whistleblowing is encouraged by offering monetary reward. The third party service involves utilizing an external agency to inform the individuals at the top of the organizational pyramid of misconduct, without disclosing the identity of the whistleblower; this is a new phenomenon and has been developed due to whistlebl
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives is a federal law enforcement organization within the United States Department of Justice. Its responsibilities include the investigation and prevention of federal offenses involving the unlawful use and possession of firearms and explosives; the ATF regulates via licensing the sale and transportation of firearms and explosives in interstate commerce. Many of the ATF's activities are carried out in conjunction with task forces made up of state and local law enforcement officers, such as Project Safe Neighborhoods; the ATF operates a unique fire research laboratory in Beltsville, where full-scale mock-ups of criminal arson can be reconstructed. The agency is led by Thomas E. Brandon, Acting Director, Ronald B. Turk, Acting Deputy Director; the ATF has 4,770 employees, an annual budget of $1.15 billion. The ATF was part of the United States Department of the Treasury, having been formed in 1886 as the "Revenue Laboratory" within the Treasury Department's Bureau of Internal Revenue.
The history of ATF can be subsequently traced to the time of the revenuers or "revenoors" and the Bureau of Prohibition, formed as a unit of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in 1920. It was made an independent agency within the Treasury Department in 1927, was transferred to the Justice Department in 1930, became a division of the FBI in 1933; when the Volstead Act, which established Prohibition in the United States, was repealed in December 1933, the Unit was transferred from the Department of Justice back to the Department of the Treasury, where it became the Alcohol Tax Unit of the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Special Agent Eliot Ness and several members of The "Untouchables", who had worked for the Prohibition Bureau while the Volstead Act was still in force, were transferred to the ATU. In 1942, responsibility for enforcing federal firearms laws was given to the ATU. In the early 1950s, the Bureau of Internal Revenue was renamed "Internal Revenue Service", the ATU was given the additional responsibility of enforcing federal tobacco tax laws.
At this time, the name of the ATU was changed to Tobacco Tax Division. In 1968, with the passage of the Gun Control Act, the agency changed its name again, this time to the Alcohol and Firearms Division of the IRS and first began to be referred to by the initials "ATF". In Title XI of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, Congress enacted the Explosives Control Act, 18 U. S. C. A. Chapter 40, which provided for close regulation of the explosives industry and designated certain arsons and bombings as federal crimes; the Secretary of the Treasury was made responsible for administering the regulatory aspects of the new law, was given jurisdiction over criminal violations relating to the regulatory controls. These responsibilities were delegated to the ATF division of the IRS; the Secretary and the Attorney General were given concurrent jurisdiction over arson and bombing offenses. Pub. L. 91-452, 84 Stat. 922, October 15, 1970. In 1972 ATF was established as an independent bureau within the Treasury Department on July 1, 1972, this transferred the responsibilities of the ATF division of the IRS to the new Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms.
Rex D. Davis oversaw the transition, becoming the bureau's first director, having headed the division since 1970. During his tenure, Davis shepherded the organization into a new era where federal firearms and explosives laws addressing violent crime became the primary mission of the agency; however and other alcohol issues remained priorities as ATF collected billions of dollars in alcohol and tobacco taxes, undertook major revisions of the federal wine labeling regulations relating to use of appellations of origin and varietal designations on wine labels. In the wake of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush signed into law the Homeland Security Act of 2002. In addition to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the law shifted ATF from the Department of the Treasury to the Department of Justice; the agency's name was changed to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Explosives. However, the agency still was referred to as the "ATF" for all purposes.
Additionally, the task of collection of federal tax revenue derived from the production of tobacco and alcohol products and the regulatory function related to protecting the public in issues related to the production of alcohol handled by the Bureau of Internal Revenue as well as by ATF, was transferred to the newly established Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which remained within the Treasury Department. These changes took effect January 24, 2003. Complaints regarding the techniques used by ATF in their effort to generate firearm cases led to hearings before Congressional committees in the late 1970s and 1980s. At these hearings, evidence was received from citizens, charged by ATF, from experts who had studied ATF, from officials of the bureau itself. A Senate subcommittee report stated, "Based upon these hearings it is apparent that ATF enforcement tactics made possible by current federal firearms laws are constitutionally and reprehensible."The Subcommittee received evidence that ATF devoted its firearms enforcement efforts to the apprehension, upon technical malum prohibitum charges, of individuals who lack all criminal intent and knowledge.
Evidence received demonstrated that ATF agents tended to concentrate upon collector's items rather than "criminal street guns". In hearings before
United States Department of Transportation
The United States Department of Transportation is a federal Cabinet department of the U. S. government concerned with transportation. It was established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, began operation on April 1, 1967, it is governed by the United States Secretary of Transportation. Prior to the Department of Transportation, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Transportation administered the functions now associated with the DOT. In 1965, Najeeb Halaby, administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency – the future Federal Aviation Administration – suggested to U. S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that transportation be elevated to a cabinet-level post, that the FAA be folded into the DOT. Federal Aviation Administration Federal Highway Administration Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Federal Railroad Administration Federal Transit Administration Maritime Administration National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of Inspector General Office of the Secretary of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center Bureau of Transportation Statistics Transportation Security Administration – transferred to Department of Homeland Security in 2003 United States Coast Guard – transferred to Department of Homeland Security in 2003 Surface Transportation Board – spun off as an independent federal agency in 2015 In 2012, the DOT awarded $742.5 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 11 transit projects.
The awardees include light rail projects. Other projects include both a commuter rail extension and a subway project in New York City, a bus rapid transit system in Springfield, Oregon; the funds subsidize a heavy rail project in northern Virginia, completing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metro Silver Line to connect Washington, D. C. and the Washington Dulles International Airport. President Barack Obama's budget request for fiscal year 2010 included $1.83 billion in funding for major transit projects, of which more than $600 million went towards 10 new or expanding transit projects. The budget provided additional funding for all of the projects receiving Recovery Act funding, except for the bus rapid transit project, it continued funding for another 18 transit projects that are either under construction or soon will be. Following the same the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 delegates $600 million for Infrastructure Investments, referred to as Discretionary Grants.
The Department of Transportation was authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2016 of $75.1 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows: In the latest Center for Effective Government analysis of 15 federal agencies which receive the most Freedom of Information Act FOIA requests, published in 2015, the Department of Transportation earned a D by scoring 65 out of a possible 100 points, i.e. did not earn a satisfactory overall grade. Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations American Highway Users Alliance National Highway System National Transportation Safety Board Passenger vehicles in the United States Transportation in the United States United States Federal Maritime Commission Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center Official website United States Department of Transportation in the Federal Register This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of Transportation
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent agency of the United States government. The CPSC seeks to promote the safety of consumer products by addressing "unreasonable risks" of injury. In part due to its small size, the CPSC attempts to coordinate with outside parties—including companies and consumer advocates—to leverage resources and expertise to achieve outcomes that advance consumer safety; the agency was created in 1972 through the Consumer Product Safety Act. The agency reports to the President; the CPSC has five commissioners, who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate for staggered seven-year terms. The Commission was run by three commissioners or fewer. Since 2009, the agency has been led by five commissioners, one of whom serves as chairman; the commissioners set policy for the CPSC. The CPSC is headquartered in Maryland; the commissioners of the CPSC are appointed by the U. S. president and with the consent of the U. S. Senate; as with some other U.
S. federal independent agencies, commissioners are selected as members of political parties. Although the president is entitled by statute to select the chairman, no more than three commissioners may belong to the same party. Thus, the president is expected to consult with members of the opposite party in the Senate to select members of the commission from the opposite party; the commissioners vote on selecting the vice chairman, who becomes acting chairman if the chairman’s term ends upon resignation or expiration. The CPSC regulates the manufacture and sale of more than 15,000 different consumer products, from cribs to all-terrain vehicles. Products excluded from the CPSC's jurisdiction include those named by law as under the jurisdiction of other federal agencies; the CPSC fulfills its mission by banning dangerous consumer products, establishing safety requirements for other consumer products, issuing recalls of products on the market, researching potential hazards associated with consumer products.
The CPSC makes rules about consumer products when it identifies a consumer product hazard, not addressed by an industry voluntary consensus standard, or when Congress directs it to do so. Its rules can specify basic design requirements, or they can amount to product bans, as in the case of small high-powered magnets, which the CPSC attempted to ban. For certain infant products, the CPSC regulates when voluntary standards exist; the CPSC is required to follow a scientific process to develop mandatory rules. Failing to do so can justify the revocation of a rule, as was the case in a Tenth Circuit decision vacating the CPSC's ban on small high-powered magnets; the CPSC learns about unsafe products in several ways. The agency maintains a consumer hotline through which consumers may report concerns about unsafe products or injuries associated with products. Product safety concerns may be submitted through SaferProducts.gov The agency operates the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a probability sample of about 100 hospitals with 24-hour emergency rooms.
NEISS collects data on consumer product related injuries treated in ERs and can be used to generate national estimates. The agency works with and shares information with other governments, both in the U. S. and with international counterparts. The CPSC works on a variety of publicity campaigns to raise awareness of safety. For example, the CPSC blows up mannequins to demonstrate the dangers of improper use of fireworks. Since February 2015, the average civil penalty has been $2.9 million. In April 2018, Polaris Industries agreed to pay a record $27.25 million civil penalty for failing to report defective off-road vehicles. On November 2, 2007, the Washington Post reported that between 2002 and the date of their report, former chairman Hal Stratton and current commissioner and former acting chairman Nancy Nord had taken more than 30 trips paid for by manufacturing groups or lobbyists representing industries that are under the supervision of the agency. According to the Post, the groups paid for over $60,000 travel and related expenses during this time.
In 1972 when the agency was created, it had 786 staff members. By 2008 it had 401 employees on a budget of $43 million, but the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act passed in 2008 increases funding $136.4 million in 2014 with full-time employees to at least 500 by 2013. 2007 has been called the "Year of the Recall" in the United States, the CPSC alone obtained 473 voluntary recalls in 2007, a record. This notably included many incidents with lead in other children's products; these issues led to the legislative interest in the reform of the agency, the final result of these efforts was the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in 2008. The bill increased funding and staffing for the CPSC, placed stricter limits on lead levels in children's products
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is a governmental body of the United States with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation in that nation as well as over its surrounding international waters. Its powers include the construction and operation of airports, air traffic management, the certification of personnel and aircraft, the protection of U. S. assets during the launch or re-entry of commercial space vehicles. Powers over neighboring international waters were delegated to the FAA by authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization. Created in August 1958, the FAA replaced the former Civil Aeronautics Administration and became an agency within the US Department of Transportation; the FAA's roles include: Regulating U. S. commercial space transportation Regulating air navigation facilities' geometric and flight inspection standards Encouraging and developing civil aeronautics, including new aviation technology Issuing, suspending, or revoking pilot certificates Regulating civil aviation to promote transportation safety in the United States through local offices called Flight Standards District Offices Developing and operating a system of air traffic control and navigation for both civil and military aircraft Researching and developing the National Airspace System and civil aeronautics Developing and carrying out programs to control aircraft noise and other environmental effects of civil aviation The FAA is divided into four "lines of business".
Each LOB has a specific role within the FAA. Airports: plans and develops projects involving airports, overseeing their construction and operations. Ensures compliance with federal regulations. Air Traffic Organization: primary duty is to safely and efficiently move air traffic within the National Airspace System. ATO employees manage air traffic facilities including Airport Traffic Control Towers and Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities. See Airway Operational Support. Aviation Safety: Responsible for aeronautical certification of personnel and aircraft, including pilots and mechanics. Commercial Space Transportation: ensures protection of U. S. assets during the launch or reentry of commercial space vehicles. The FAA is headquartered in Washington, D. C. as well as the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City and its nine regional offices: Alaskan Region – Anchorage, Alaska Northwest Mountain – Seattle, Washington Western Pacific – Los Angeles, California Southwest – Fort Worth, Texas Central – Kansas City, Missouri Great Lakes – Chicago, Illinois Southern – Atlanta, Georgia Eastern – New York, New York New England – Boston, Massachusetts The Air Commerce Act of May 20, 1926, is the cornerstone of the federal government's regulation of civil aviation.
This landmark legislation was passed at the urging of the aviation industry, whose leaders believed the airplane could not reach its full commercial potential without federal action to improve and maintain safety standards. The Act charged the Secretary of Commerce with fostering air commerce and enforcing air traffic rules, licensing pilots, certifying aircraft, establishing airways, operating and maintaining aids to air navigation; the newly created Aeronautics Branch, operating under the Department of Commerce assumed primary responsibility for aviation oversight. In fulfilling its civil aviation responsibilities, the Department of Commerce concentrated on such functions as safety regulations and the certification of pilots and aircraft, it took over the building and operation of the nation's system of lighted airways, a task initiated by the Post Office Department. The Department of Commerce improved aeronautical radio communications—before the founding of the Federal Communications Commission in 1934, which handles most such matters today—and introduced radio beacons as an effective aid to air navigation.
The Aeronautics Branch was renamed the Bureau of Air Commerce in 1934 to reflect its enhanced status within the Department. As commercial flying increased, the Bureau encouraged a group of airlines to establish the first three centers for providing air traffic control along the airways. In 1936, the Bureau itself began to expand the ATC system; the pioneer air traffic controllers used maps and mental calculations to ensure the safe separation of aircraft traveling along designated routes between cities. In 1938, the Civil Aeronautics Act transferred the federal civil aviation responsibilities from the Commerce Department to a new independent agency, the Civil Aeronautics Authority; the legislation expanded the government's role by giving the CAA the authority and the power to regulate airline fares and to determine the routes that air carriers would serve. President Franklin D. Roosevelt split the authority into two agencies in 1940: the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Civil Aeronautics Board.
CAA was responsible for ATC, airman and aircraft certification, safety enforcement, airway development. CAB was entrusted with safety regulation, accident investigation, economic regulation of the airlines; the CAA was part of the Department of Commerce. The CAB was an independent federal agency. On the eve of America's entry into World War II, CAA began to extend its ATC responsibilities to takeoff and landing operations at airports; this expanded role became permanent after the war. The application of radar to ATC helped controllers in their drive to keep abreast of the postwar boom in commercial air transportation. In 1946, Congress gave CAA the added task of administering the federal-aid airport program, the first peacetime program of financial assistance aimed exclusivel