FCC Looks to Update Tower Marking and Lighting Rules

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Washington - May 3, 2010 - The Federal Communications Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that seeks comment on revisions to the Commission's Part 17 rules governing the construction, marking and lighting of antenna structures. The FCC says it initiated this proceeding to update and modernize the Part 17 rules. The proposed revisions are intended to improve compliance with FCC rules and allow the agency to enforce them more effectively. These proposed revisions would also remove outdated and burdensome requirements without compromising the FCC's responsibility to prevent antenna structures from being hazards or menaces to air navigation.

The Commission typically requires tower owners to register their towers and be primarily responsible to maintain their painting and lighting. The requirements are put in place with cooperation of the Federal Aviation Administration. A petition filed by the PCIA - The Wireless Infrastructure Association on Sept. 12, 2006, requested several changes in the rules, which are reflected in the NPRM. Some of the proposed changes:

  • Deleting reference in the rules to a specific version of the FAA's Advisory Circulars (which specifies how towers should be painted and lighted).
  • Amending Section 17.4 to require any change in height of one foot or greater or any change in coordinates of one second or greater would require prior approval from the FAA and the Commission.
  • Consistent with the above standard, the NPRM seeks comment on whether to amend the rules to require that the height information provided on FCC Form 854 must be accurate within one foot and the location coordinates provided must be accurate within one second of longitude and latitude.

    Docket number WT-10-88. Read the NPRM online: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-10-53A1.pdf. Comments will be due 60 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register.

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