New Antenna Structure Lighting Requirements

April 26, 2016

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a new Advisory Circular (AC) for Obstruction Marking and Lighting (AC 70/7460-IL) in December 2015. These new lighting and marking requirements apply to new towers and towers modified after December 2015. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has incorporated the AC into its rules, thus all new or modified towers subject to the FCC’s Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) System must comply with these requirements. The most significant changes to the lighting requirements are:

  • All NEW or MODIFIED towers with lighting Styles A, E, and F may not employ L-810 steady-burning side lights for towers taller than 350 feet above ground level (AGL).
  • Owners of EXISTING towers taller than 350 Feet AGL are encouraged to phase out the use of steady-burning lights. Prior to making this recommended change, the tower owner must obtain a new “No Hazard Determination” from the FAA.
  • Beginning September 16, 2016, all NEW or MODIFIED towers between 151-350 feet AGL will be required to use flashing L-180 lights mounted at diagonally opposite positions. However, NEW or MODIFIED towers of 150 feet AGL or less will continue to use steady-burning L-810 lights.
  • Medium-intensity white and medium-intensity dual obstruction lights are now authorized on towers up to and including 700 feet AGL. Previously, this lighting was only authorized on towers up to 500 feet AGL and towers over 500 feet AGL required high-intensity lights or painting.

Also, the FAA reduced the height requirement for a structure that requires a FCC study by one foot. Now, towers that are 499 feet or taller will require a FAA study (previously, this requirement applied to towers 500 feet or more).

Please contact us if you have any questions about the new requirements or if you would like our assistance in obtaining a new “No Hazard Determination” prior to turning off steady-burning lights on towers exceeding 350 Feet AGL.

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