Presentation on theme: "FAA/FCC Presentation by Wireless Applications Corp. The process of current filing method. I don’t need to file…. Required filings of FAA and FCC. Going."— Presentation transcript:
FAA/FCC Presentation by Wireless Applications Corp. The process of current filing method. I don’t need to file…. Required filings of FAA and FCC. Going into the Opinion letter details. Timelines to expect. Towair, AM towers. What is airspace. Glide slopes, charts, approaches, routes. Painting and Lighting, not always simple. What it has cost some.
Wireless Applications, Corp., is your solution for GIS mapping, Analysis, and FAA/FCC filing issues. We offer consulting services and customized intranet-based software products for addressing your specific needs. We offer microwave path design, microwave terrain profiling, microwave protection, microwave keyhole analysis, frequency coordination, FCC filing, FAA filing, co-locate tower search, Carey contours, geographic mapping, RF design, RF propagation, call center customer trouble ticket management and project management services for cellular, PCS and broadband wireless technology. PRODUCT & SERVICES OVERVIEW
For our business and in our employees’ individual pasts, we have processed FAA and FCC work for nearly 15 years. Since early employment days of McCaw Communications and Western Wireless Corp (later splitting to VoiceStream/T-Mobile) we have designed, analyzed, and filed FAA and FCC regulatory on thousands of sites nationwide. This gained us a very strong relationship with all the FAA regions and with FCC. We learned through visits what their process was and modified our paperwork and submittals to best fit and streamline their work load. By doing this we clearly saw our filings moved to the top of the incoming stack of FAA proposals. Due to our relationships and very clean paperwork, we saw a direct timeline change for the build-outs of nearly 50%. Some were even to the point of getting signed while at the FAA local office ! Our relationships with FAA Regional offices, DOT and FCC continue today and we pride ourselves on clean, professional filings. The importance of having the correct “X on the Map” and associated documentation has become a business necessity in both marketing and regulatory. Experience
I don’t need to file….. The overall myth is “I don’t need to file until I’m 200ft or more.” Wrong. All types of structures that ‘may have’ impacts to airspace are required. I got my final determination and built it, I’m good: Did it require a 7460-II for a notice of construction? How about one for reaching its greatest height? Determinations have expiration dates. FCC registration number? If it was also required, there will be a notice of construction required. It is this that triggers an FAA so that it doesn’t expire. My lights are out on the tower, I’ll get a crew out there: You have 24 hours to notify the local airport authorities, the crew is second. FAA authorities are very cool with getting these and quite the opposite when not. One airplane is all it takes to run into the structure and you are in the news…with your lawyers. Oh no, the FAA is going to fine us! : FAA produces the data for somebody else to fine or sue you. FCC is the leader; they look for issues and non-compliance, and then trap you with questions. Answering the first few are easy, then the next couple set you up. It is ALWAYS best to admit and fix as soon as YOU see it, and not to wait for the letter. In the last 9 years the FAA has grown into monitoring frequencies and require you to have them on your filings…and the FCC? They look for painting and lighting and FAA non-compliance. My company changed names, what now? Oddly enough, the FAA doesn’t want it and in almost ALL cases will no longer accept an update. FCC, however, requires it and all your FRN data and associated corporate structure forms (if a carrier), for full disclosure.
Structures requiring notification Any construction of more than 60.96 meters (200 ft) AGL at its base. Any construction that would exceed the imaginary surface of a public-use airport at 1 of the following slopes: 100 to 1 (6.1 km/20,000 ft) 50 to 1 (3.05 km/10,000 ft) 25 to 1 (1.52km/5000 ft) (Absolutes)
FCC Antenna Structure Registration An Antenna Structure Registration is a 7 digit number used to identify a structure with the FCC. All structures in excess of 60.96 meters (200 ft) AGL are required to be registered with the FCC. A structure cannot be registered with the FCC, without first being filed with the FAA. The ASR number must be posted in a conspicuous place so that it is readily visible. The ASR may be amended as necessary, as site data changes.
Timelines It is typical for the FAA to take between 30- 45 days to evaluate a requested structure, once it has been evaluated a Determination of No Hazard to Air Navigation or a Notice of Presumed Hazard will be issued. WAC has seen as little as a week, although since the FAA has changed its internal processes they seem more consistent with the longer times. The FAA will require submittal of a 7460-2, Notice of Actual Construction or Alteration, on all structures of greater than 60.06 meters (200 ft) AGL. A structure may take longer than 45 days to evaluate, contingent upon any issues that the FAA may discover, i.e. within an airport imaginary surface or terminal procedure. If a Notice of Presumed Hazard is issued, the tower owner has the option to lower the structure or proceed with the Extended study process, which adds 90-120 days to the process and entails circularization to the public for comment, before the approval can be issued. The FAA cannot predict the outcome of the extended study prior to Public Circularization. State DOT notification is required for the following states: Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia & Wisconsin. The DOT is notified of an application at the same time as the FAA. The State DOT can overrule the FAA determination. In these instances, you must abide by the DOT decision rather than the FAA determination. Each DOT has a different method of notifying approval or denial of an application.
FCC TOWAIR TOWAIR is the FCC’s online evaluation tool for proposed/existing structures. TOWAIR should not be used as the sole method of evaluation for a new structure, as the FCC admits it can produce errors when evaluating a structures FAA notification requirements. (remember, they fine per what the FAA told you to do)
AM Station Proof of Performance This requires a study be done on sufficient field strength measurements for at least 10 locations along 8 equally spaced radials for an omni antenna, prior to the installation of any appurtenances on the tower. The tower owner shall be responsible for installation and maintenance of any de-tuning necessary to prevent adverse effects to the radiation pattern of an AM station. Any tower that is within 0.62 mi (1.0 km) of omni AM stations and 1.99 mi (3.2 km) of directional AM stations are required by the FCC to run a Proof of Performance measurement before and after construction.
The Opinion Letter What is important ? Aren’t they all the same ? Structure height versus Tip height. Surveys – 1A and 2C are very important, especially with impacting airspace. In cases where the structure could impact the terminal procedures, the FAA will require one.
VOR transmitters (hats) Transmitters are fixed and off limits to structures being next to them. They send highly directional RF channels for the planes to track.
Flip chart maps and runway details Must look at all runways, glide slopes and the impacts the structure may have into it.
Approaches Impacts of structures can happen at a variety of areas. Approaches, Horizontal and Conical surfaces get hit the most. These invisible lines are highly protected and if a structure was built impacting it without filing, they have been known to have it dismantled. The orange Approaches are the most protected. Extended Studies can be filed to get possible approvals of structures impacting the airspace. Depending on the request, area, etc, these applications can take an additional 90-120+ days. Public Airports are protected by the FAA, Private Airports are not.
Glide Slopes, Horizontal/Conical Surfaces These yellow and blue surfaces are easier for us to get structures of exceeding heights granted. If under, there is a very high likelihood of a final determination. 7460-II can be required for nearly all filing within this area.
Instrument Approaches / IFR, VFR segments The red and green reflect Instrument Approaches. The blue elevated lines the IFR segments. Transmitted via the ‘hats’. These are protected 1 mile across and 1000ft thick. Getting a structure height that may impact the bottom edge of this can easily get denied. Both are impact areas but are hit less frequently with structures. Terrain factor – Mountains or other high elevated areas may and have been impacted with structures miles away from airports. This can mean a 60ft structure needing lights on a mountain top 11 miles away.
Climb and descent areas (VFR traffic pattern airspace) If an airplane needs to circle back from aborting a landing, or is looking at other climb and descent issues, they must follow close to the overlaid darker blue square outlines. These areas are very seldom impacted with structures but are still part of the areas we must look at when reviewing.
Towers and Heights Existing Structures show the majority under the airspace caps with a few that got granted extended variations.
Microwave Other issues that come up that can be impacted by airspace. We have had to perform a number of engineering studies showing the paths and if they would be impacted by airplanes in the airspace areas.
Painting and Lighting Many types and standards Different structure types can require special painting and lighting. Tight tolerances to ‘approved’ lighting and painting.
Marking and Lighting Requirements Any tower that would exceed 60.96 meters (200 ft) AGL requires marking and Lighting for aviation safety. The 2 most common types of Marking and Lighting requirements are Painted w/Red Lights and Med Dual (steady burning white lights during the day/flashing red beacon at night) Lighting. All lighting systems must be alarm monitored and require notification on any lighting outage of more than 30 minutes in length. A NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) must be filed for all lighting outages of more than 30 minutes on an antenna structure. The NOTAM will remain open for 15 days and it can be extended once for another 15 days. If the lighting issue is not resolved and the NOTAM closed after this time, the registered tower owner can be fined by the FCC Enforcement Bureau. A structure that does not require Marking or Lighting can be lit voluntarily without notifying the FAA, as long as the Marking and Lighting is installed and maintained in accordance with the most recent FAA Advisory Circular specifications (70/7460-1 K, Change 2).
Painting and Lighting We have built a special output just for the variations and heights for each lighting element.
Posting the ASR The FCC ASR number must be displayed in an obvious manner so that it is readily visible at the base of the antenna structure. All placards noting the ASR number must be weather resistant and of sufficient size to be easily seen. There can be multiple postings of the ASR number, such as on any gating or fencing around the tower, and there should be one at the ‘last public access point’ along any roads that would lead to a tower not readily accessible. This is one area the FCC physically looks for in the field. ASR signage should be checked regularly for damage or missing signs. If something happens to a sign that is posted and the FCC audits it, they WILL issue a forfeiture notice.
Why is all this important to us? Titan Towers, LP – fined $2,000 for failure to post its ASR number so that it is readily visible in a conspicuous place near the base of the antenna tower. Tidewater Communications LLC – fined $10,000 for failure to exhibit obstruction lighting on their ASR. Western Slope Communications, LLC – fined $13,000 for failure to supply a NOTAM for a lighting outage that had been in effect for ‘several weeks’. AAT Communications Corporation – Fined $10,000 on a structure that had chipped and faded paint and was partially obscured with black cabling. ACS Wireless – fined $3,000 for failure to perform an Ownership change on a structure. Crown Communication, Inc – fined $8,000 for unpainted cabling obscuring tower visibility from the air. SpectraSite Communications, Inc – fined $120,500 for failure to register 4 antenna towers of greater than 60.96 meters (200 ft) AGL. You do NOT want to be on the FCC Forfeiture Orders list. It is not only costly, but once on it, you are watched. This also is an impact to public statements, investors, etc. Exosphere Broadcasting, LLC – fined $10,000 for failure to maintain obstruction lighting from sunrise to sunset on a tower. Crown Castle GT Company LLC – fined $10,000 for failure to exhibit required obstruction lighting during daytime hours. Gresham Communications, Inc – fined $10,000 for failure to continuously exhibit red obstruction lighting and failure to register tower with the FCC. Cumulus Licensing Corp – fined $10,000 for failure to clean and re-paint tower to maintain good visibility. Threshold Communications – fined $8,000 for failure to exhibit the structure’s red obstruction lighting from sunrise to sunset. Pinnacle Towers LLC – fined $3,000 for failure to notify of tower ownership change. Fun Media Group, Inc. – fined $8,000 for failure to clean and re-paint tower to maintain good visibility.
FCC Forfeiture Orders (continued) Aquila, Inc. – fined $10,000 for failure to exhibit lighting from sunrise to sunset on a tower. Lotus Communications Corp – fined $10,000 for failure in maintaining lighting monitoring and notification requirements on lighting outages. Mega Communications of St. Petersburg, LLC – fined $10,000 for failure to maintain prescribed antenna structure painting and lighting specifications. Vector Communications Inc. – fined $20,000 for failure to exhibit red obstruction lights on 3 antenna structures. Dead Air Broadcasting Company, Inc. fined $3,000 for failure to register antenna tower. Lycom Communications, Inc. – fined $3,000 for failure to register antenna tower. MCC Georgia LLC – fined $10,000 for failure to exhibit lighting from sunrise to sunset on a tower. SpectraSite Communications, Inc. – fined $30,000 for failure to maintain required antenna obstruction lighting. Clear Channel Broadcasting, Inc. – fined $10,000 on a structure that had chipped and faded paint. AAT Communications Corp –fined $10,000 for failure to maintain prescribed antenna structure painting and lighting specifications. Signal One, LLC – fined $10,000 for failure to continuously exhibit all medium intensity obstruction lighting on its tower during daylight hours. Max Media of Montana, LLC – fined $8,800 for failure to address lighting outages in a timely manner on a tower. Best Country Broadcasting, LLC – fined $3,000 for failure to register tower. Midwest Partners, LLC – fined $10,000 for failure to clean and re-paint its antenna structure as often as necessary to maintain good visibility. Morris Communications, Inc. – fined $3,000 for failure to register tower.
FCC Forfeiture Orders (continued) Gold Coast Broadcasting Company – fined $10,000 for failure to maintain specified painting on its antenna structure. East Tennessee Radio Group, L.P. – fined $2,400 for failure to notify of tower ownership change. Verizon Wireless (VAW) LLC – fined $10,000 for failure to clean and re-paint its antenna structure as often as necessary to maintain good visibility. South Central Communications Corp. – fined $8,000 for failure to maintain an automatic alarm system to detect lighting outages and provide notification to the registered tower owner. AT&T Wireless Service, Inc. – fined $117,000, including 1 instance of failing to register a structure, 3 instances of failure to post an ASR sign in a conspicuous location, 1 instance of failure to maintain good visibility of painted antenna structures and 2 instances of failure to have proper lighting on an antenna structure. Voicestream PCS I License, L.L.C. – fined $8,000 for failure to exhibit all high and medium intensity obstruction lighting on an antenna structure.