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FAA obstruction lighting letter sheds light on requirement for sole source replacement parts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE February 25, 2019 —  An ambiguous July 27, 2018 FAA letter from Khalil E. Kodsi, Manager, Airport Engineering Division, that could be construed to imply that tower obstruction lighting systems could only use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) replacement parts created confusion and industry-wide concern as reported by Wireless Estimator, below. Addressing the matter seven months later, in a letter …

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Contractor and consultant share blame in deadly 1,891-foot tower collapse: OSHA

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a report detailing that an April 2018 tower collapse that killed Steve Lemay, 56, resulted due to design and construction failings by the managing consultant, Tower Consultants, Inc. (TCI) and the contractor, Steven Lemay LLC. The 1891-foot-tall guyed tower in Fordland, Mo. is owned by Missouri State University (MSU) and was …

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U.S. patent application pushes credibility of Swiss Army knife cell tower drones

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Commentary – Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are assisting the wireless infrastructure industry with great tower mapping, 3D modeling, close-out documentation and other capabilities that have proven in some cases to be more accurate and safer for the workforce. However, a recent patent application for a UAV is so technologically advanced that the applicant’s inventors will inevitably displace tower techs that …

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Infrared LED obstruction lighting is not required: FAA Obstruction Evaluation Manager

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

An ambiguous recent change to the FAA’s Obstruction Marking and Lighting bible left some obstruction lighting managers with the impression that the Advisory Circular (AC) now requires towers with a new FAA determination to include infrared (IR) LEDs in the L-810 and L-864 systems to make the red lamping more visible to Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS) and Night Vision …

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Orange is the new knack – for selling tower siting sizzle and not the steak

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After a 10-year effort to improve public safety communications in Douglas County and Highlands Ranch, Colo., erection of a 150-foot public safety radio tower began yesterday morning after sales and use tax funding became available and a private developer said it would assist in providing a location for an artistic structure – a monopole with two side-mounted omni antennas gingerly …

NATE’s in O’Rielly’s corner on common sense obstruction marking provisions

In Associations News, Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today applauded FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly for his common sense approach to the tower obstruction marking provisions currently confronting the communications tower industry. The broad-based tower marking requirements were part of the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 and mandate improved physical markings and/or lighting on towers ranging from 50’ – …

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NATE goes full bore into the beltway to address industry’s and nation’s priorities

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Timed to coincide with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s declaration of April 2017 as “Infrastructure Month”,  executives of the National Association of Tower Erectors were in Washington, D.C. last week for a series of legislative and regulatory meetings. During the productive week, the NATE delegation, consisting of Chairman Jim Tracy, Board of Directors member John Paul Jones, Executive …

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NATE releases an updated detailed resource for tower site drone usage

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released the 2nd Edition of the NATE Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations Around Vertical Communications Infrastructure resource document available to all interested parties at no charge. The newest edition of this valuable safety resource is a by-product of collaboration between the NATE Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Committee and other prominent representatives from the commercial …

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Pilot dies after clipping guy wire of Vertical Bridge Texas tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The pilot of a small airplane was killed when he crashed in Rusk County, Tex. yesterday on a clear afternoon on County Road 497 after its wing reportedly clipped a 449-foot tall tower’s guy wire, according to Rusk County Office of Emergency Management spokesperson David Chenault. Chenault informed Wireless Estimator that the plane was an older Cessna. The guyed tower, …

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Acceptance of drones in wireless work could begin with early broadcast ‘repacking’ efforts

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In 2013, when Amazon unveiled its daring drone plan to have unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) provide commercial deliveries, Black & Veatch had already been investigating how drones could assist in reducing the number of times climbers would have to ascend a tower. At an FCC-OSHA workshop in 2014, John Johnson, Black & Veatch Vice President, ESH&S, said, “I know that …

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With a House nod, wireless industry will receive its drone directives

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016 is one step closer to becoming a reality after being passed by the Senate last week on a vote of 95-3. It now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. In S.2658, below, key concerns of the wireless industry regarding what FAA regulations apply to their usage of drones are addressed in the …

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New FAA tower lighting standard will cut costs and cut down on avian deaths

In Featured News, Standards by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published its newest Obstruction Marking and Lighting advisory circular that became effective Friday. It includes significant changes to the telecom industry’s lighting requirements since the last time the agency revised Advisory Circular 70/7460K in 2007. A key change in the new document — that has been proposed by the industry for a number of years …

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Leading safety expert steps forward as the tower industry’s response to OSHA tanks

In Featured News, Safety by Wireless Estimator

Whereas an embarrassing majority of industry safety professionals and tower climbers, as high as 99% or more, have ignored an opportunity to assist OSHA in assessing current practices and ways that will result in lowering fatalities and injuries in tower construction and maintenance, an Illinois State University professor, Dr. Thomas P. Fuller, while traveling in France, took the time today to …

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Terrible Mississippi tower marking amendment is killed in committee

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Mississippi Speaker of the House Philip Gunn took the ice bucket challenge late last year, but it didn’t shake loose any logical reasons why he introduced legislation last month to require all communications towers in his state to be marked for aviation safety purposes if they were 50 feet high or taller, and were located outside of municipality boundaries. As …

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New year will usher in eased FAA lighting failure reporting requirements

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), through coordination with the FCC and other federal stakeholders, expects by mid-January 2015 to streamline the online process for submitting Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) to alert pilots to tower lighting outages. The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued an advisory earlier this week announcing the FAA’s new process which will permit tower owners to individually select …