New Quarterly Audit Program Of Antenna Structures Initiated By The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (the “WTB”) has identified 442 communications tower sites that appear to be in violation of the FCC’s antenna structure registration requirements. The WTB is offering a 60-day amnesty period to owners of the antenna structures identified in the audit to comply with the Commissions antenna structure registration requirements. Although this list does not identify specific tower owners, it may include cable and broadcast towers.
The current rules require all antenna structures that pose a hazard to air traffic be studied by the FAA and registered with the FCC. Generally, these are antenna structures more that 200 feet in overall height or those structures less than 200 feet but located near airports.
Antenna Structure owners must obtain an FAA “Determination of No Hazard to Air Navigation” prior to registering with the FCC. FAA Form 7460-1 must be completed and filed with the regional FAA office serving the state where with antenna structure is located prior to the construction of a tower. It is possible that, in certain FAA regions, a no air hazard determination from the FAA may take at least four to six weeks to process. Once the determination has been obtained, the antenna structure owner must complete an online filing with the FCC.
The Commission has stated that “On the 61st day from the issuance of the public notice, those communications tower sites that have not been registered will be forwarded to the Enforcement Bureau for investigation and appropriate enforcement action”. If an antenna structure owner is unable to complete the registration process because of the inability to obtain a determination from the FAA, the tower owner must notify the Commission regarding the status of the registration.
If you have any questions concerning the FCC’s antenna structure registration process, please contact us.