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TAL: The First Aviation Conglomerate

Landing Aids Experiment Station


When United Air Lines announced in 1947 that it was relinquishing its contract with the Navy for the operation of the Landing Aids Experiment Station (LAES) at Arcata, California, Transocean immediately contacted the Navy and was awarded a contract to operate the station effective at midnight, February 1, 1947.

  The LAES was jointly sponsored by the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, the Civil Aeronautics Administration, the Civil Aeronautics Board, the Air Transport Association, and the Air Line Pilots' Association. The project included the testing and development of high-intensity runway and approach lights, fog dispersal systems, ground controlled approach and instrument landing systems. As a result of these tests, the sponsoring agencies were able to determine, under scientifically controlled conditions, the most practical and efficient combination of aids to effect a safe all-weather landing system. Transocean was commended many times by the U.S. Navy for its management of the Arcata project.

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