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                           Before the
                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
                        FORFEITURE ORDER

   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 
19, 2002.  

     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 


     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 
the Rules.  

     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 
Jersey 08830.

                              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.