Describe the purpose of the Air Commerce Act of 1926.
The Air Commerce Act of 1926 established federal regulations regarding aircraft, airmen, navigational facilities and the establishment of air traffic regulations. Aircraft were required to be inspected for airworthiness, and were required to have markings placed on the outside of the aircraft for identification. Airmen were required to be tested for aeronautical knowledge and required to have a physical completed to insure their physical fitness. The federal government was required to build new airports, institute regulations that would address aircraft altitude separation, develop and maintain airways and navigational aids. The Department of Commerce Aeronautical Division would be responsible for overseeing and implementing this Act. The regulations would be known as the Civil Air Regulations (CARs). Today the regulations are known as the FARs (Federal Aviation Regulations). In May 1926, Congress passed the Air Commerce Act, which gave the government responsibility for fostering air commerce, establishing airways and aids to air navigation, and making and enforcing safety rules. Under this act, the government supplied money for air navigation facilities so that the routes would become safer to fly, day and night. Management of the route system moved to the new Aeronautics Branch of the Department of Commerce, which was established in August under the leadership of William MacCracken. By the early part of 1926, contract airmail carriers flew most of the airmail, but government airmail pilots in government airplanes still flew the transcontinental route connecting San Francisco, Omaha, Chicago and New York. This transcontinental line was divided into two segments in 1927. Boeing began contract service on the western sector, between Chicago and San Francisco, on July 1, 1927. National Air Transport took over the eastern sector, between New York and...
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