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FCC Public Notice

445 - 12th STREET S.W.

News media information 202/418-0500,Fax-On-Demand 202/418-2830,
TTY 202/418-2555
Internet or

DA # 00-580
March 16, 2000


By this Public Notice, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) informs antenna structure owners and licensees of recent changes in Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Service Station (FSS) procedures for reporting antenna structure light outages. Flight Service Stations are FAA air traffic facilities that provide many pilot services, including providing Notices to Airmen of flight-related safety information. On February 25, 2000, Flight Service Stations began notifying the FCC of reported antenna structure light outages that have not been repaired within 15 days. Further, if a light outage or malfunction cannot be repaired within 15 days, the owner (or representative) must re-notify the FSS that the outage continues to exist. This will allow the FSS to re-issue the Notice to Airmen. Once the repairs have been made, the owner must notify the FSS. Unless specifically notified, the FSS will "auto cancel" the Notice to Airmen after 15 days.

In conjunction with the above, the FSS will now require that the Antenna Structure Registration Number (ASR Number) be provided in reporting all tower light outages on FCC registered antenna structures. In the past, FSS personnel did not request the FCC ASR Number when taking antenna structure light outage reports. This requirement is consistent with existing FCC antenna lighting rules, which require owners to give the ASR Number when reporting light failures and malfunctions to the FAA. Owners, however, should be aware that if the FSS staff asks for a "tower number," they are likely asking for the seven-digit ASR Number, which is given to the owner when the structure is registered with the FCC.

Finally, antenna structure owners are responsible for ensuring that the FSS is notified of all pertinent information required by Section 17.48 of the Commission’s Rules, including the ASR Number. However, the owner is further advised that even if they delegate this responsibility to a second entity, such as a tower lighting monitoring company, the owner remains responsible to ensure that all of the information required under FCC rules is provided.

NOTE: Some antenna structure owners remotely monitor tower lighting status. If this light monitoring equipment indicates a failure, the owner must first visually inspect the structure to confirm the outage or malfunction before notifying the FSS.


These changes will allow the FAA and the FCC to quickly identify the antenna structure in question, and for the FCC to contact the owner to resolve any light outage or malfunction that cannot be corrected within 15 days.

Selected Antenna Structure Lighting Requirements

(From Part 17 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. Part 17)

47 C.F.R. § 17.47 Inspection of antenna structure lights and associated control equipment.

The owner of any antenna structure which is registered with the Commission and has been assigned lighting specifications referenced in this part:

(a)  (1)Shall make an observation of the antenna structure’s lights at least once each 24 hours either visually or be observing an automatic properly maintained, indicator designed to register any failure of such lights, to insure that all such lights are functioning properly as required, or alternatively

    (2) Shall provide and properly maintain an automatic alarm system designed to detect any failure of such lights and to provide indication of such failure to the owner.

(b) Shall inspect at intervals not to exceed 3 months all automatic or mechanical control devices, indicators, and alarm systems associated with the antenna structure lighting to insure that such appartus is functioning properly.

47 C.F.R. § 17.48 Notification of extinguishment or improper functioning of lights.

The owner of any antenna structure which is registered with the Commission and has been assigned lighting specifications referenced in this part:

(a) Shall report immediately by telephone or telegraph to the nearest Flight Service Station or office of the Federal Aviation Administration any observed or otherwise known extinguishment or improper functioning of any top steady burning light or any flashing obstruction light, regardless of its position on the antenna structure, not corrected within 30 minutes. Such reports shall set forth the condition of the light or lights, the circumstances which caused the failure, the probable date for restoration of service, the FCC Antenna Structure Registration Number, the height of the structure, (AGL and AMSL if known) and the name, title, address, and telephone number of the person making the report. Further notification by telephone or telegraph shall be given immediately upon resumption of normal operation of the light or lights.


(b) An extinguishment or improper functioning of a steady burning side intermediate light or lights, shall be corrected as soon as possible, but notification to the FAA of such extinguishment or improper functioning is not required.

Information on the FAA Flight Service Stations may be obtained at: Commission provides updated information on Antenna Structure registration, located at:

Commission contact Jim Voigt, Enforcement Bureau, (202) 418-1174.
News Media Contact: John Winston (202) 418-7450.