Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New Tower Law Cited as Too Broad by FCC Commissioner

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly
(FCC photo)
A new law requiring the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to enact certain new tower marking rules is too broad, according to FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, "and could use tweaks." 

The ARRL Letter reports that O'Rielly said the law could "force expensive retrofits to practically 50,000 existing towers," including broadcast and cell towers, "with little gain to air safety." The law's primary goal is to protect small low-flying aircraft such as crop-dusters from colliding with temporary meteorological testing towers, or METs. But O'Rielly said it is so broadly written that it could potentially affect tens of thousands of other towers that really do not need to provide the additional markings. 

Amateur radio towers were not specifically cited by O'Rielly, and the ARRL says the rules called for by the new law would affect only "a very small subset" of ham towers.