Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB)


(Record Group 197)
1931-85

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 197.1 Administrative History
  • 197.2 Records OF CAB Predecessors 1931-40
    • 197.2.1 Records of the Bureau of Air Commerce
    • 197.2.2 Records of the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA)
    • 197.2.3 Records of the Air Safety Board
  • 197.3 Records of the Civil Aeronautics Board 1938-84
    • 197.3.1 Records of the chairman and board members
    • 197.3.2 Records of the Office of the Secretary
    • 197.3.3 Records of the Office of Administration
    • 197.3.4 Records of the Publications Service Division, Office of Facilities and Operations
    • 197.3.5 Records of the Office of the General Counsel
    • 197.3.6 Records of the Bureau of Air Operations
    • 197.3.7 Records of the Bureau of Economics
    • 197.3.8 Records of the Bureau of Enforcement
    • 197.3.9 Records of the Bureau of International Affairs
    • 197.3.10 Other records
  • 197.4 Records of the Federal Aviation Commission 1933-35
  • 197.5 Cartographic Records (General)
  • 197.5 Machine-Readable Records (General) 1962-85

197.1 Administrative History

Established: As an independent agency by Reorganization Plans Nos. III and IV of 1940, effective June 30, 1940.

Predecessor Agencies:

In the Department of Commerce:

  • Aeronautics Branch (1926-34)
  • Bureau of Air Commerce (1934-38)
  • Bureau of Air Mail, Interstate Commerce Commission (1934-38)
  • Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA, 1938-40)
  • Air Safety Board (1938-40)

Functions: Under the Civil Aeronautics Act (52 Stat. 973), June 23, 1938, as modified by Reorganization Plans Nos. III and IV of 1940; and as redefined by the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 (72 Stat. 731), August, 23, 1958, promoted and regulated the civil air industry within the United States and between the United States and foreign countries in the interest of the foreign and domestic commerce of the United States, the postal service, and the national defense.

Responsibility for investigating accidents and promoting safety transferred to National Transportation Safety Board, Department of Transportation (DOT), by the DOT Act (80 Stat. 931), October 15, 1966.

Abolished: Effective January 1, 1985, by the Civil Aeronautics Board Sunset Act of 1984 (98 Stat. 1703), October 4, 1984, and provisions of Title XVI of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, contained in the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (92 Stat. 1744), October 24, 1978.

Successor Agencies: Department of Justice (airline mergers, interlocking directorates, filing agreements, and antitrust exemptions); U.S. Postal Service (rate compensation for mail carriage); Department of Transportation (all other functions), effective January 1, 1985, under provisions of the CAB Sunset Act of 1984, the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, and Title XVI of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958.

Finding Aids: Preliminary Inventory in National Archives microfiche edition of preliminary inventories.

Security-Classified Records: This record group may include material that is security-classified.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Civil Aeronautics Board in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government. Records of the Post Office Department, RG 28.
Records of the Federal Aviation Administration, RG 237.
Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, RG 255.

General Records of the Department of Transportation, RG 398.

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197.2 Records OF CAB Predecessors
1931-40

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197.2.1 Records of the Bureau of Air Commerce

History: Aeronautics Branch established in Department of Commerce by the Air Commerce Act of 1926 (44 Stat. 568), May 20, 1926. Redesignated Bureau of Air Commerce, July 1, 1934. Abolished by EO 7959, August 22, 1938, with functions transferred to newly established Civil Aeronautics Authority (SEE 197.2.2).

Textual Records: Investigative records relating to the August 15, 1935, plane crash resulting in the deaths of aviator Wiley Post and humorist Will Rogers, 1935. Investigative records concerning the May 6, 1937, accident resulting in the destruction by fire of the German airship, Hindenburg, including general records, 1937; reports, 1937-38; transcripts, a digest of testimony, and exhibits, 1937; and miscellaneous records, 1931-38.

Architectural and Engineering Plans: Records relating to the German airship Hindenburg, including German-produced drawing of an airship, n.d.; and blueprints of the Hindenburg, 1937 (10 items). SEE ALSO 197.5.

Maps and Charts: Records relating to the German airship Hindenburg, including aeronautical chart of the northeastern U.S., 1932; and map of the U.S. Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, NJ, June 20, 1936 (2 items). SEE ALSO 197.5.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Bureau of Air Commerce in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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197.2.2 Records of the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA)

History: Established as an independent agency by the Civil Aeronautics Act (52 Stat. 973), June 23, 1938, to regulate civil aeronautics and to promote its development and safety. Acquired functions of the Bureau of Air Commerce (SEE 197.2.1), August 22, 1938; and functions of the Bureau of Air Mail, established in the Interstate Commerce Commission pursuant to the Air Mail Act (48 Stat. 933), June 12, 1934, and abolished by EO 7959, August 22, 1938. CAA abolished and superseded in Department of Commerce by the Civil Aeronautics Board (SEE 197.1) and the Civil Aeronautics Administration (SEE RG 237), 1940.

Textual Records: Minutes, 1938-40.

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Civil Aeronautics Authority in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government. Additional records of the Civil Aeronautics Authority in Records of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, 1926-54, in RG 237, Records of the Federal Aviation Administration.

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197.2.3 Records of the Air Safety Board

History: Established, under CAA oversight, by the Civil Aeronautics Act, June 23, 1938. Made rules, subject to CAA approval, governing notification and reporting of accidents involving aircraft; investigated such accidents and reported results to CAA; and investigated complaints and conducted studies at CAA request. Abolished by Reorganization Plan No. IV of 1940, effective June 30, 1940, with functions transferred to newly established Civil Aeronautics Board. SEE 197.1.

Textual Records: Security-classified and unclassified minutes, 1939-40.

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197.3 Records of the Civil Aeronautics Board
1938-84

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197.3.1 Records of the chairman and board members.

Textual Records: Records of the chairman, consisting of general records, 1942-57; and reading files, 1942-79. Board members' speeches, 1942-47. Records of board member Joseph Minnetti, including concurring and dissenting opinions, 1956-78; records relating to international aviation regulations, 1957-77; and summaries of bilateral air transport negotiations, 1966-76.

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197.3.2 Records of the Office of the Secretary

Textual Records: Records maintained by the Minutes Section, consisting of security-classified board minutes, 1958-61, 1963- 67, 1976-77, with related exhibits, 1949-80; unclassified board minutes, with interfiled exhibits, 1940-84; various types of staff memorandums relating to board decisions, 1944-71; board orders, 1939-69; notices of proposed rulemaking, 1953-58; regulations, with amendments and revisions, 1955-58; accident report summaries, 1951-59; reports relating to delegations of authority, 1958-61; orders issued under delegations of authority, 1965-70; security-classified transcripts of conference proceedings, 1943-69; and reference materials, 1962-76. Records of the Docket Section, consisting of a microfiche copy of a register listing names of individuals involved in proceedings and supporting records received for each docketed case, 1938-76 (602 fiche); a microfilm copy of the index to case files and dockets, 1938-76 (31 rolls); selected docket files, 1938-84; selected rulemaking docket files, 1959-84; and safety enforcement docket files relating to air safety certificates, 1952-62, and airman certificates, 1959-62. Records compiled in connection with the Executive Jet Aviation, Inc., case (Docket 17637), 1973.

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197.3.3 Records of the Office of Administration

Textual Records: General records, including administrative records, 1939-60; management reports, 1952-62; and a CAB manual, 1938-73, with related records, 1948-57. Records of the Budget and Fiscal Section, consisting of general records, 1950-58; accounting records, 1951-58; transcripts of appropriation hearings, 1942-56; and records concerning the budget, 1939-60, financial planning, 1941-58, and subsidy payments to air carriers, 1951-58.

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197.3.4 Records of the Publications Service Division, Office of Facilities and Operations

Textual Records: Official publications, 1970-77. Studies and reports relating to airline operations, 1973-75.

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197.3.5 Records of the Office of the General Counsel

Textual Records: General records, 1939-55. General correspondence, 1946-50. Records relating to budget proposals, 1951-58; aviation passenger insurance, 1939-44; the Pan-American- Grace Airways ("Panagra") terminal investigation, 1940-46; aircraft accident investigations, 1952-64; and civil aviation legislation, 1946-64, including judicial review of such legislation, 1957-64. Records of the Litigation and Legislation Division, and predecessor organizations, including general records, 1941-63; legislation files and related records, 1941-84; a reading file, 1949-68; legislative journals, 1947-62; CAB press releases, 1963-69; Congressional calendars, 1961-65; and selected appeals litigation case files, 1944-69.

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197.3.6 Records of the Bureau of Air Operations

History: Known as Economic Bureau, 1940-48; Bureau of Economic Regulation, 1948-51; and Bureau of Air Operations (BAO), 1951-61. BAO abolished, 1961, with functions relating to foreign air operations assigned to newly established Bureau of International Affairs, and remaining functions assigned to newly established Bureau of Economic Regulation.

Textual Records: Reading file, 1947-61. Records of the Analyses Division, consisting of surveys and analyses, 1942-48; and records relating to the investigation of air routes, 1947-50. Records of the Alaska Office (after 1951, Alaska Liaison Office), consisting of the director's reading file, 1947-50; and case files concerning the operation of air carriers in Alaska, 1940- 51.

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197.3.7 Records of the Bureau of Economics

History: Bureau of Economic Regulation established 1961, assuming functions of former Bureau of Air Operations (SEE 197.3.6) relating to domestic air operations. Redesignated Bureau of Economics, 1966.

Textual Records: Records relating to aviation mobilization planning, 1959-67; the Industry Advisory Committee on Aviation Mobilization, 1952-70; the development of the war air service program air priorities manual, 1963-65; the development of regional air priorities control offices, 1967-70; and national emergency plans, 1962-69.

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197.3.8 Records of the Bureau of Enforcement

History: Office of Enforcement established December 15, 1948, with functions acquired in part from Bureau of Law and in part from Bureau of Economic Regulation. Redesignated Office of Compliance, 1954; redesignated Bureau of Enforcement, 1960.

Textual Records: Director's reading file, 1964. Records of the Legal Division, consisting of formal enforcement proceedings case files, 1942-76; court enforcement case files, 1940-60; records and exhibits relating to supplemental air carriers, 1962-64; records relating to formal enforcement proceedings against foreign air carriers for tariff and air cargo rate irregularities, 1965-67; records concerning air freight tariffs, 1963-66; and records relating to formal enforcement proceedings for West Coast charter irregularities, 1969-70. Records of the Investigation Division, consisting of investigation reports, 1964; budget reports, 1956-63; and records relating to investigation assignments, 1960-65, and to the investigation of air freight companies, 1966.

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197.3.9 Records of the Bureau of International Affairs

History: Established 1961, assuming functions of Bureau of Air Operations (SEE 197.3.6) relating to foreign air operations. Redesignated Bureau of International Aviation, ca. 1977, acquiring additional functions from Bureau of Economics (SEE 197.3.7).

Textual Records: General records concerning international aviation agreement negotiations, 1945-59. Records relating to international passenger fare and cargo rate agreements, 1962-63.

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197.3.10 Other records

Textual Records: CAB annual reports, 1939-66. Records of the Civil Aviation Regulatory Reform Task Force and Steering Committee, 1977-79.

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197.4 Records of the Federal Aviation Commission
1933-35

History: Established by Presidential appointment, June 30, 1934, in accordance with a provision of the Air Mail Act (48 Stat. 938), June 12, 1934, to study aviation conditions and make policy recommendations to the Congress. Chaired by newspaper publisher Clark Howell. Abolished, February 1, 1935, following submission of final report to the Congress through the President, January 31, 1935.

Textual Records: General correspondence, 1933-35. Letters sent, 1934-35. Administrative records, 1934-35. Briefs, transcripts of hearings, exhibits, and a summary of the minutes of hearings, 1934. Records relating to legislation, 1934-35. Press releases, 1934. Mail delivery survey letters, 1934. Final report, with related working papers, 1934-35.

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197.5 Cartographic Records (General)

SEE Architectural and Engineering Plans UNDER 197.2.1
SEE Maps UNDER 197.2.1

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197.6 Machine-Readable Records (General)
1962-85

Competition among domestic air carriers, 1962-65, with supporting documentation (26 data sets). Passenger ticket origin and destination survey, "Data Bank 1," 1968-78, with supporting documentation (39 data sets). Passenger ticket dollar value origin and destination survey, "Data Bank 1A," 1978-84, with supporting documentation (25 data sets). International and territorial directional origin and destination survey, "Data Bank 2A," 1968-84, with supporting documentation (17 data sets). Domestic directional origin and destination survey, "Data Bank 2C," 1968-85, with supporting documentation (17 data sets). Directional detail origin and destination surveys, U.S. and foreign flag, 1968-85 (9 data sets). City and airport nomenclature file, "Data Bank 5," 1968-84, with supporting documentation (65 data set). Service segment data, "Data Bank 23," 1970-84, with supporting documentation (15 data sets). T-9 non-stop market data, "Data Bank 26," 1980-83, with supporting documentation (4 data sets). Denied boarding, 1978-80, with supporting documentation (1 data set). Financial data, "Form 41 Schedule T," 1968-83, with supporting documentation (7 data sets). Traffic and capacity reports, "Form 41 Schedules B and P," with supporting documentation (16 data sets). On-time performance, 1967-81, with supporting documentation (1 data set). Commuter air carrier statistics, 1969-85, with supporting documentation (2 data sets).

Related Records: Data Bank 1A, Data Bank 2A, Data Bank 2C, Data Bank 5, and Data Bank 23T, 1986-89, in RG 467 Records of the Research and Special Programs Administration (Transportation).


Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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