Tower Owners Take Note

Posted on December 31st, 2014 by

The Wireless Bureau has issued an advisory to all owners of lighted towers. The advisory notes that the Federal Aviation Administration has developed plans to streamline its processes related to Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs), which identify towers with extinguished or faulty lighting.

If you own a lighted tower, then you already know under the FCC’s rules you are generally required to notify the FAA within 30 minutes of discovering a lighting outage or malfunction (depending on the light), and then take steps to correct the outage. According to the advisory, the planned change will allow tower owners to self-select the amount of time their NOTAMs remain active. So instead of an automatic 15-day NOTAM when a tower owner reports a light outage, and the follow-on burden of re-reporting and extending the NOTAM, owners will have an ability to access the NOTAM submission system and self-select the amount of time they will need to repair a light. This improvement is expected to be effective in mid-January 2015. The FCC warns against excessive times for repair, so beware.