The Civil Aeronautics Board was founded in 1940 as the result of a reorganization of the Civil Aeronautics Authority, which had been created in 1938 to promote and regulate civilian aviation in the United States. The reorganization created the Civil Aeronautics Administration under the Department of Commerce with responsibility for air traffic control, the certification of airmen and aircraft, safety enforcement, and airway development. The new Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) had responsibility for safety and accident investigation (until Congress created the National Transportation Safety Board in 1967) and the economic regulation of the airlines.

From 1940 through 1984 the CAB had full regulatory control over the airline industry in the United States. Commercial airlines could not operate without a CAB-issued Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience. ...

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