Report No. CI 97-12 COMPLIANCE AND INFO ACTION October 24, 1997
The Federal Communications Commission has located and shut-down two unlicensed radio broadcasting operations that were interfering with safe air traffic control communications at Miami International Airport and West Palm Beach International Airport. Both cases were referred to FCC investigators for help by the Federal Aviation Administration in Miami.
* FCC investigators identified an unlicensed FM station near Miami International Airport illegally broadcasting on 105.5 MHz in the FM broadcast band and frequencies in the 118.1 to 125.85 MHz band that FAA officials told the FCC were causing harmful interference to Air Traffic Control frequencies and adversely affecting tower to pilot communications in a four-mile area southeast of the airport.
* FCC investigators also discovered and closed down an illegal broadcaster who was completely disrupting control tower communications at West Palm Beach International Airport control tower. Operating less than six blocks from the airport control tower, the station was illegally broadcasting on 106.5 MHz in the FM band, and frequencies between 120.7 MHz to 121.9 MHz in the commercial aircraft frequency band and causing interference on aviation emergency frequency 121.5 MHz.
Richard D. Lee, Acting Chief of the FCC Compliance and Information Bureau (CIB), said, "There is an increased problem for public and aircraft safety because of unlicensed FM operations. Hopefully we can eliminate this problem before a catastrophic accident resulting in loss of lives occurs due to interference on the airwaves."
Lee explained, "In some cases, we have achieved much success with on-site inspections during which we warn unlicensed FM broadcasters about their illegal operations and urge them to cease operations immediately." He said that based on information from the FCC field investigators, the FCC has successfully identified and shut down numerous other unlicensed broadcast operations via warning letters, on-site inspections or court actions since September 1997. "We will move as swiftly as possible to prevent the proliferation of unlicensed broadcast operations and the danger to public safety and interference with other communications products that these unlicensed operations create," he said