Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version
This document was converted from Microsoft Word.
Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.
All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.
Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.
If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
) File No. EB-03-KC-012
AAT Communications Corporation )
Owner of Antenna Structure ) NAL/Acct. No. 200332560011
#1005728 near )
Harrisonville, Missouri ) FRN: 0003-477676
Iselin, New Jersey
Adopted: October 19, 2004 Released: October 22,
By the Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) to AAT Communications Corporation (``AAT'') for willful
violation of Section 17.50 of the Commission's Rules
(``Rules'').1 The noted violation involves AAT's failure to
repaint its antenna structure to maintain good visibility.
2. On February 27, 2003, the Commission's Kansas
City, Missouri District Office (``Kansas City Office'') issued a
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to AAT for
a forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).2
AAT's response to the NAL was received on April 7, 2003.
3. AAT is the registered owner of a tower with
antenna structure registration (``ASR'') number 1005728 that is
319.88 feet (97.5 meters) above ground level and 1274.93 feet
(388.6 meters) above mean sea level. The structure's
registration includes a requirement that it be painted in
alternating bands of aviation orange and white.
4. On January 13, 2003, a Kansas City Office agent
inspected the tower in question, ASR No. 1005728. The structure
had chipped and faded paint and was partially obscured with black
cabling, resulting in poor visibility when observed from a
distance of one-quarter mile.
5. After checking the Commission's records, the
Kansas City Office agent spoke with representatives of AAT, the
registered owners. The representatives confirmed that AAT owned
structure ASR No. 1005728, and stated to the agent that AAT
planned on repainting the structure in the spring upon a
recommendation of a tower company that inspected it on December
6. On February 27, 2003, the District Director of the
Kansas City Office issued an NAL to AAT in the amount of ten
thousand dollars ($10,000) for willful violation of Section 17.50
of the Commission's Rules. In its response, AAT argues that the
``Rules do not provide a standard as to how faded the paint would
have to be before a violation occurred.'' AAT argues that there
would be no way to know they were in violation of Section 17.50
without a determination by an FCC inspector. AAT states that it
is therefore unfair for the Commission to issue a forfeiture for
a violation without giving AAT an opportunity to correct it.
7. AAT adds that it has a policy to regularly repaint
towers and that the tower had already been scheduled for
painting. Finally, AAT argues that no painting could be done at
the time of inspection because of winter weather, even if it had
been aware that the paint had faded to the point of violation.
8. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended, (``Act''),3 Section 1.80 of the Rules,4
and The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of
Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture
Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd
303 (1999) (``Policy Statement''). In examining AAT's response,
Section 503(b) of the Act requires that the Commission take into
account 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
such other matters as justice may require.5
9. Section 17.50 of the Rules provides that antenna
structures whose registration requires painting for visibility
shall be cleaned or repainted as often as necessary to maintain
good visibility. AAT's structure, ASR No. 1005728, has specified
lighting and painting requirements that include painting the
structure with alternating bands of aviation orange and white.
Based on the Kansas City agent's observations, that the tower's
painted bands could not be distinguished at approximately one
fourth of a mile because the tower's paint was faded and chipped
and partially obscured by black cabling, we find that AAT was in
violation of Section 17.50 of the Rules.
10. During the inspection, an AAT representative
stated to the Kansas City agent that AAT had received a
recommendation by a contractor that it was necessary to repaint
the tower. However, notwithstanding that AAT should have known
its tower needed repainting, and that it had been advised by a
contractor to repaint the tower, AAT states that it had decided
to delay repainting the tower until after the winter season.
Accordingly, we conclude that AAT made a conscious and deliberate
decision not to repaint the tower until after its paint had faded
to the point that the tower was no longer in compliance with
Section 17.50 of the Rules.6 AAT's decision to wait until the
following spring to repaint the tower clearly precluded
compliance with Section 17.50. Moreover, to the extent that AAT
suggests that reliance on the contractor mitigates its
responsibility, we disagree. Our Rules clearly hold AAT
responsible to ensure that the tower complies with the Rules.7
We find, accordingly, that AAT's violation of Section 17.50 was
11. AAT argues that the Commission should have warned
it that the tower's paint had faded to the point of violation and
that it should have been given a chance to correct the violation,
and thus, the forfeiture should be cancelled or at least reduced.
This argument is without merit. Neither the Commission nor its
agents are obligated to notify a licensee when an inspection
occurs or to provide a licensee an opportunity to cure a
violation prior to issuing a Notice of Apparent Liability.9
12. In additional support of its argument for a
cancellation or reduction of the proposed forfeiture, AAT argues
that its tower had already been scheduled for painting at the
time of inspection. If the tower had been scheduled for
repainting prior to the Commission's inspection, AAT would merit
a reduction in the proposed forfeiture amount based on good faith
efforts to correct the violation.10 However, we are unable to
find that AAT merits any reduction in the forfeiture amount
because it has not provided evidence of corrective efforts, such
as a supporting affidavit, service order, or similar documents.11
Accordingly, we find no grounds for a reduction.
13. We have examined AAT's response to the NAL
pursuant to the statutory factors above, and in conjunction with
the Policy Statement as well. As a result of our review, we
conclude that AAT willfully violated Section 17.50 of the Rules
by failing to clean or repaint its antenna structure as often as
necessary to maintain good visibility. We find that AAT is
liable for the proposed forfeiture amount of ten thousand dollars
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
14. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80(f)(4) of the Rules,12 AAT Communications Corporation, Owner
of Antenna Structure #1005728 near Harrisonville, Missouri IS
LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand
dollars ($10,000) for its willful violation of Section 17.50 of
15. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission. The payment must include the
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced above. Payment by check or
money order may be mailed to Forfeiture Collection Section,
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. Payment by overnight mail
may be sent to Bank One/LB 73482, 525 West Monroe, 8th Floor
Mailroom, Chicago, IL 60661. Payment by wire transfer may be
made to ABA Number 071000013, receiving bank Bank One, and
account number 1165259. Requests for full payment under an
installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and
Receivables Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
16. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order
shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to John C. Shinners, Counsel, AAT Communications
Corporation, Woodbridge Place, 517 Route One South, Iselin, New
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
George R. Dillon
Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. § 17.50.
2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, File No. NAL/Acct.
No. 200332560011 (Enf. Bur., Kansas City Office, released
February 27, 2003).
3 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
6 See William L. Needham and Lucille Needham, 18 FCC Rcd 5521,
5522 (Enf. Bur. 2003).
7 See Eure Family Limited Partnership, 17 FCC Rcd 21861, 21863-
64 ¶¶ 6-7 (2002) (finding that it is the antenna structure
owner's primary responsibility to comply with tower lighting
8 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,'
... means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of
such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of
this Act or any rule or regulation of the Commission authorized
by this Act ....'' Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC
Rcd 4387 (1991).
9 See AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 21866, 21871 n.
20 (2002) (enforcing a forfeiture issued without a Notice of
Violation). See also Missouri RSA, 18 FCC Rcd 12653, 12654 (Enf.
Bur. 2003) (``Nothing in the Communications Act or the
Commission's Rules entitles a licensee to an opportunity to
correct a violation prior to the issuance of a NAL. Licenses
cannot expect simply to sit back and await Commission findings of
violations before taking appropriate steps to ensure compliance
with Commission rules.'')
10 See Radio One Licenses, Inc., 18 FCC Rcd 15964 (2003).
11 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(f)(3).
12 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
13 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.