Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W2AI, Jul 11, 2019.
You're likely not fully comprehending the situation at-hand... I'll follow through at a later date.
I likely have a few LESS THAN 200' PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS TOWERS within the glide slope of two different airports in my URBAN radio coverage area. I need to stay on-top of this and investigate the final outcome, because I doubt mine are logged anywhere. In fact, many of my City's towers were purposely built to slightly less than 200' to evade federal reporting. I'll have to see if there is a final distinction surrounding "rural" versus "urban," or if the final verdict is location-based, given airports' glide slopes.
"Communication towers of the same size have the option to be either be marked or logged in the FAA database."
“Seeing the growth of communication towers in North Dakota and across the county, I knew it was important to both mark and properly log the tower,” Rau said. “Submitting the tower to be included in the FAA’s Daily Digital Obstacle File only took minutes and was well worth a few moments of my time.”
I'll follow this and report back at a later date for hams' communications towers.
Quoted Text References: https://generalaviationnews.com/201...OlqO0xMSNeqFFSW-B6MAPyf6JIGi4M_ZqMtDnDhelIFIM
Please re-read my post -- I specifically said this is not of concern to AMATEUR RADIO ... to ease unfounded concerns of "typical" hams who have a home station with a 50+foot but less-than-200-foot tower.
Your situation may, indeed, be different.
There's an easy way for my city office -- additionally responsible for administrating our city radio towers adjacent to an airport or airports and ag land -- to avoid all concern surrounding this and similar future regulatory efforts. That's to go ahead and register all of my less-than-200-foot communication towers within the FCC's Antenna Structure Registration program. That's easy enough.
SEC. 576. TOWER MARKING.
Section 2110 of the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act
of 2016 (49 U.S.C. 44718 note) is amended to read as follows:
‘‘SEC. 2110. TOWER MARKING.
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided by paragraph (2),
not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of the
FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 or the date of availability
of the database developed by the Administrator pursuant to
subsection (c), whichever is later, all covered towers shall be
‘‘(A) clearly marked consistent with applicable guidance
in the advisory circular of the FAA issued December 4,
2015 (AC 70/7460-IL); or
‘‘(B) included in the database described in subsection
‘‘(2) METEOROLOGICAL EVALUATION TOWER.—A covered
tower that is a meteorological evaluation tower shall be subject
to the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph
‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—In this section, the following definitions
‘‘(A) COVERED TOWER.—
‘‘(i) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘covered tower’ means
a structure that—
‘‘(I) is a meteorological evaluation tower, a
self-standing tower, or tower supported by guy
wires and ground anchors;
‘‘(II) is 10 feet or less in diameter at the above ground
base, excluding concrete footing;
‘‘(III) at the highest point of the structure is
at least 50 feet above ground level;
H. R. 302—207
‘‘(IV) at the highest point of the structure is
not more than 200 feet above ground level;
‘‘(V) has accessory facilities on which an
antenna, sensor, camera, meteorological
instrument, or other equipment is mounted; and
‘‘(VI) is located on land that is—
‘‘(aa) in a rural area; and
‘‘(bb) used for agricultural purposes or
immediately adjacent to such land.
‘‘(ii) EXCLUSIONS.—The term ‘covered tower’ does
not include any structure that—
‘‘(I) is adjacent to a house, barn, electric utility
station, or other building;
‘‘(II) is within the curtilage of a farmstead
or adjacent to another building or visible structure;
‘‘(III) supports electric utility transmission or
‘‘(IV) is a wind-powered electrical generator
with a rotor blade radius that exceeds 6 feet;
‘‘(V) is a street light erected or maintained
by a Federal, State, local, or tribal entity;
‘‘(VI) is designed and constructed to resemble
a tree or visible structure other than a tower;
‘‘(VII) is an advertising billboard;
‘‘(VIII) is located within the right-of-way of
a rail carrier, including within the boundaries of
a rail yard, and is used for a railroad purpose;
‘‘(IX)(aa) is registered with the Federal
Communications Commission under the Antenna
Structure Registration program set forth under
part 17 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations;
‘‘(bb) is determined by the Administrator to
pose no hazard to air navigation; or
‘‘(X) has already mitigated any hazard to aviation
safety in accordance with Federal Aviation
Administration guidance or as otherwise approved
by the Administrator.
‘‘(B) RURAL AREA.—The term ‘rural area’ has the
meaning given the term in section 609(a)(5) of the Public
Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 918c(a)(5)).
‘‘(C) AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES.—The term ‘agricultural
purposes’ means farming in all its branches and the cultivation
and tillage of the soil, the production, cultivation,
growing, and harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural
commodities performed by a farmer or on a farm, or on
pasture land or rangeland.
‘‘(2) OTHER DEFINITIONS.—The Administrator shall define
such other terms as may be necessary to carry out this section.
‘‘(c) DATABASE.—The Administrator shall—
‘‘(1) develop a new database, or if appropriate use an
existing database that meets the requirements under this section,
that contains the location and height of each covered
tower that, pursuant to subsection (a), the owner or operator
of such tower elects not to mark (unless the Administrator
has determined that there is a significant safety risk requiring
H. R. 302—208
that the tower be marked), except that meteorological evaluation
towers shall be marked and contained in the database;
‘‘(2) keep the database current to the extent practicable;
‘‘(3) ensure that any proprietary information in the database
is protected from disclosure in accordance with law;
‘‘(4) ensure that, by virtue of accessing the database, users
agree and acknowledge that information in the database—
‘‘(A) may only be used for aviation safety purposes;
‘‘(B) may not be disclosed for purposes other than aviation
safety, regardless of whether or not the information
is marked or labeled as proprietary or with a similar designation;
‘‘(5) ensure that the tower information in the database
is de-identified and that the information only includes the
location and height of covered towers and whether the tower
has guy wires;
‘‘(6) ensure that information in the data set is encrypted
at rest and in transit and is protected from unauthorized access
‘‘(7) ensure that towers excluded from the definition of
covered tower under subsection (d)(1)(B)(ii)(VIII) must be registered
by its owner in the database;
‘‘(8) ensure that a tower to be included in the database
pursuant to subsection (c)(1) and constructed after the date
on which the database is fully operational is submitted by
its owner to the FAA for inclusion in the database before
‘‘(9) ensure that pilots who intend to conduct low-altitude
operations in locations described in subsection (b)(1)(A)(i)(VI)
consult the relevant parts of the database before conducting
such operations; and
‘‘(10) make the database available for use not later than
1 year after the date of enactment of the FAA Reauthorization
Act of 2018.
‘‘(d) EXCLUSION AND WAIVER AUTHORITIES.—As part of a rule making
conducted pursuant to this section, the Administrator—
‘‘(1) may exclude a class, category, or type of tower that
is determined by the Administrator, after public notice and
comment, to not pose a hazard to aviation safety;
‘‘(2) shall establish a process to waive specific covered
towers from the marking requirements under this section as
required under the rule making if the Administrator later determines
such tower or towers do not pose a hazard to aviation
‘‘(3) shall consider, in establishing exclusions and granting
waivers under this subsection, factors that may sufficiently
mitigate risks to aviation safety, such as the length of time
the tower has been in existence or alternative marking methods
or technologies that maintains a tower’s level of conspicuousness
to a degree which adequately maintains the safety of
the airspace; and
‘‘(4) shall consider excluding towers located in a State that
has enacted tower marking requirements according to the Federal
Aviation Administration’s recommended guidance for the
voluntary marking of meteorological evaluation towers erected
in remote and rural areas that are less than 200 feet above
H. R. 302—209
ground level to enhance the conspicuity of the towers for low
level agricultural operations in the vicinity of those towers.
‘‘(e) PERIODIC REVIEW.—The Administrator shall, in consultation
with the Federal Communications Commission, periodically
review any regulations or guidance regarding the marking of covered
towers issued pursuant to this section and update them as
necessary, consistent with this section, and in the interest of safety
of low-altitude aircraft operations.
‘‘(f) FCC REGULATIONS.—The Federal Communications Commission
shall amend section 17.7 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations,
to require a notification to the Federal Aviation Administration
for any construction or alteration of an antenna structure,
as defined in section 17.2(a) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations,
that is a covered tower as defined by this section.’’.
It is of "some concern" to certain hams adjacent to ag land and within federally-defined "rural" areas (whatever those are).
It doesn't fully exempt hams.
Therefore, rural hams with a tower or towers in or near ag lands should review this requirement's stipulations today or in the near future.
I'm pretty sure this new legislation is because of drone pilots. The timing of this happens to coincide with a bunch of new drone regs.
If that's the case, then Amazon would plow into 150+ trees on my property that are all a LOT taller than my tower
Note: the government's "rural area" definition is, "the term “rural area” means a city, town, or unincorporated area that has a population of not more than 10,000 inhabitants."
This excludes the greater Milwaukee area, but doesn't exclude other federal rules and regs that my office could potentially be unaware of, such as this new requirement I (we) just recently discovered or read about. Therefore, I will "blanket" register all of my professional communication towers per the FCC's Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) Program, adding to the Commission's coordinated efforts with the FAA and their respective databases. Most of my towers are 140 to 190-feet, and most of these shorter ones are not registered. Some are 250 to 300-feet, where these taller ones are already registered and lit per regulations. Registering all of them will remove my worry and doubt going forward. It's part of my "due diligence" and coordination effort for the year...
I didn't say it "fully exempts" hams.
I pointed out that it's not of concern to the vast majority of hams -- those who have a tower and are not in a "rural" area as well as those who are in a "rural" area whose tower is "adjacent" to their home or other building(s).
But, yes, the relative handful in or near ag lands should review the requirements and --as you indicated in another post-- simply register their tower to comply.
Now, I or we have done our research, and know/understand what needs to be done to allay worry into the future. Rural hams that have a 50' or higher tower or towers should research this federal endeavor and determine if they need to comply.
In my case, I really need to register ALL of my towers. That way, the Feds will know about my towers, and can inform me if there's a future regulatory issue. It's a bit of work gather/verify the necessary tower data and accurately submit, but it's not terrible.
An once of prevention...