December 18, 2014 — In coordination with the FCC, the Federal Aviation Administration is streamlining its processes for notifying aircraft of towers that are not properly lit. Under the Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) rules, tower owners are required to notify the FAA within 30 minutes of discovering a lighting outage or malfunction, and they must take steps to repair the faulty lighting as quickly as possible. The planned change will enable tower owners to select the amount of time that their NOTAMs remain active.
Under the current system, NOTAMs expire automatically after 15 days, which in some cases is not enough time to repair the faulty lighting. As a result, tower companies may be required to repeatedly cancel and resubmit NOTAMs if repairs are not complete in time, which also creates additional burdens for FAA and FCC staff who process and monitor the submissions.
PCIA – The Wireless Infrastructure Association has urged the FCC to streamline its tower lighting outage reporting requirement.
“These helpful changes will reduce administrative burdens on tower operators and agency staff by crafting practical solutions for lighting outage repair notification. The wireless infrastructure industry remains vigilant and will continue partnering with federal, state and local officials to enhance aviation safety and ensure that our facilities are clearly and adequately marked,” the association said in prepared release.
The FCC expects the change to take effect in mid-January 2015.