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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File Number EB-02-KC-770
AAT Communications Corporations ) NAL/Acct. No.200332560005
Owner of Antenna Structure )
Registration No. 1064351 Located ) FRN 0003-4776-76
One Mile North of Ellis, Nebraska )
Iselin, New Jersey
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: November 5, 2002
By the Enforcement Bureau, Kansas City Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture (``NAL''), we find AAT Communications
Corporations (``AAT''), owner of antenna structure number
1064351 one mile north of Ellis, Nebraska, apparently liable
for a forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) for willful and repeated violation of Section
17.51(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').1
Specifically, we find AAT apparently liable for failing to
exhibit the prescribed obstruction lighting.
2. On October 3, 2002, the FCC's Kansas City Field
Office (``Kansas City Office'') received a telephone call
from the Federal Aviation Administration's (``FAA'')
Columbus, Nebraska Flight Service Office reporting a light
outage on an antenna structure one mile North of Ellis,
Nebraska. The FAA stated that they had received the outage
report from the Beatrice Municipal Airport. Based on the
information provided by the FAA, the FCC Antenna Structure
Registration (``ASR'') database showed the reported antenna
structure was #1064351, located at the latitude-longitude
N40° 14' 05'', W096° 52' 41'' with a listed height of 95
meters (312 feet). The registered owner of the structure is
3. On October 4, 2002 an agent from the Kansas City
Office requested the assistance of the Gage County Sheriff's
Office to visually inspect this structure after sunset that
evening. The structure was observed at 10:30 PM that
evening by a Deputy Sheriff and the lights were confirmed
4. Also on October 4, 2002, the FCC agent contacted
two individuals provided by the airport manager to verify
the condition of the structure lighting. The first contact
was the pilot who had called the airport about the lights
being out. The pilot stated that the lights on this
structure had been out for at least one month. The second
interview was with the individual that farms the ground were
the structure is located and he advised that the building at
the structure is not maintained, having weeds and brush
overgrown around the structure which led him to believe it
had been abandoned. The farmer further stated that the
structure's lights, except for one light, had been out for a
period of ``several months.''
5. Also on October 4, 2002, the FCC agent contacted
AAT representative Bob Roveski concerning the outage.
During the interview Mr. Roveski stated that he knew that
his company owned this antenna structure but he did not have
any information regarding the light outage or about how the
structure lights were monitored or maintained but he would
have someone with more information return the agent's call.
6. On October 7, 8, 11 and 15, 2002, the FCC agent
was contacted by John Stricko of AAT. Mr. Stricko stated
that he was responsible for having their antenna structures
monitored and maintained. Mr. Stricko said that this
structure was monitored visually by a local person but,
after checking his records, was unable to determine the name
of this person. Mr. Stricko was also unable to locate any
maintenance records for this structure. Mr. Stricko
reported that the structure lights had been repaired on
October 8, 2002.
7. Section 17.51(a) requires all red obstruction
lighting be exhibited from sunset to sunrise unless
otherwise specified. AAT owns antenna structure number
1064351. This structure is required to exhibit red lights
at night as prescribed in the structure's ASR. On October 3
and 4, 2002, and for at least one month prior, AAT failed to
exhibit required red lights on its antenna structure between
sunset and sunrise. In addition, AAT failed to monitor the
condition of its antenna structure's lights,2 and failed to
notify the FAA of the improper functioning of these lights.3
8. Based on the evidence before us, we find AAT
Communications Corporations willfully4 and repeatedly5
violated Section 17.51(a) of the Rules by failing to exhibit
prescribed obstruction lighting.
9. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules,6 the
base forfeiture amount for failure to comply with prescribed
lighting or marking is $10,000. In assessing the monetary
forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the
statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act''), which
include the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of
the violation, and with respect to the violator, the degree
of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to
pay, and other such matters as justice may require.7
Considering the entire record and applying the factors
listed above, this case warrants a $10,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
10. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Act,8 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80 of the Rules,9 AAT Communications Corporations is
hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE
in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for willful
and repeated violation of Section 17.51(a) of the Rules by
failing to exhibit prescribed obstruction lighting.
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
1.80 of the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of
this NAL, AAT Commissions Corporations SHALL PAY the full
amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
12. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by mailing a
check or similar instrument, payable to the order of the
Federal Communications Commission, to the Forfeiture
Collection Section, Finance Branch, Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.
The payment should note the NAL/Acct. No. and FRN referenced
above. Requests for payment of the full amount of this NAL
under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue
and Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20554.10
13. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, 445 12th
Street SW, Washington DC 20554, Attn: Enforcement Bureau-
Technical & Public Safety Division and MUST INCLUDE THE
NAL/Acct. No. referenced above.
14. The Commission will not consider reducing or
canceling a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability
to pay unless the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax
returns for the most recent three-year period; (2) financial
statements prepared according to generally accepted
accounting practices (``GAAP''); or (3) some other reliable
and objective documentation that accurately reflects the
petitioner's current financial status. Any claim of
inability to pay must specifically identify the basis for
the claim by reference to the financial documentation
15. Under the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of
2002, Pub L. No. 107-198, 116 Stat. 729 (June 28, 2002), the
FCC is engaged in a two-year tracking process regarding the
size of entities involved in forfeitures. If you qualify as
a small entity and if you wish to be treated as a small
entity for tracking purposes, please so certify to us within
thirty (30) days of this NAL, either in your response to the
NAL or in a separate filing to be sent to the Technical &
Public Safety Division. Your certification should indicate
whether you, including your parent entity and its
subsidiaries, meet one of the definitions set forth in the
list provided by the FCC's Office of Communications Business
Opportunities (OCBO) set forth in Attachment A of this
Notice of Apparent Liability. This information will be used
for tracking purposes only. Your response or failure to
respond to this question will have no effect on your rights
and responsibilities pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act. If you have questions regarding any of
the information contained in Attachment A, please contact
OCBO at (202) 418-0990.
16. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NAL
shall be sent by regular mail and Certified Mail Return
Receipt Requested to AAT Communications Corporations, 517
Route 1 South, Suite 5000, Iselin, NJ 08830.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Robert C. McKinney
Kansas City Office, Enforcement
1 47 C.F.R. § 17.51(a).
2 Owners of registered antenna structures with assigned
lighting must monitor the structure's lights to ensure they
operate properly. See 47 C.F.R. § 17.47.
3 Owners of registered antenna structures with assigned
lighting must immediately report to the FAA any known
improper functioning of any top or flashing light. See 47
C.F.R. § 17.48(a).
4 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed
under Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term
`willful', when used with reference to the commission or
omission of any act, means the conscious and deliberate
commission or omission of such act, irrespective of any
intent to violate any provision of this Act . . . .'' See
Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387-88
5 The term ``repeated,'' when used with reference to the
commission or omission of any act, ``means the commission or
omission of such act more than once or, if such commission
or omission is continuous, for more than one day.'' 47
U.S.C. § 312(f)(2).
6 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
10 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.