Landowners Ordered to Dismantle Tower

Posted on January 31st, 2022 by

In an unusual decision, the FCC issued an order requiring landowners (not the tower owner) to dismantle an unlighted tower that has posed a risk to aviation for several years.  The tower had previously been built and used by an FM station owner that long ago forfeited its license to operate the station.  The land had changed ownership as well, and the current owners were deemed responsible for dismantling the tower.  The FCC ordered that the dismantlement take place within 90 days along with the filing of a dismantlement notice.

Stations should always be vigilant of tower lighting and other requirements, whether they own or lease a tower.  The FCC has broad authority to impose obligations to preserve air safety.  In any lease, but especially those with landowners to allow construction of a tower, terms regarding who is responsible for dismantlement upon expiration of the lease should be clear.