UPDATE First announced back in 2018, an FAA deadline is upon us. As of yesterday, October 1, 2019, landowners with towers on their property that are 50- to 200-feet tall must mark their towers. The new rules are set forth in the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 and the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, as GeneralAviation.com reminds its readers. Most agricultural-related aviation encounters with towers involve collisions with guy wires.
The FAA is developing a database that should include both privately owned towers and meteorological evaluation towers (METs) in this height range. Prior to the ruling, towers under 200-feet did not need to be marked. The National Agricultural Aviation Association recommended that landowners mark their towers and voluntarily record the structures on their property into the FAA’s Daily Digital Obstacle File (Daily DOF).
North Dakota farmer and aerial applicator Brian Rau has a 96-foot Real Time Kinematic tower on his property. RTK towers supplement the GPS systems of automated ground-based farm equipment, Inside Towers reported. Rau said, “Submitting the tower to be included in the FAA’s Daily Digital Obstacle File only took minutes and was well worth a few moments of my time.”
The FAA change should help reduce the number of accidents resulting from people flying into unmarked towers, according to the account. In the period from 2008 to 2018, 40 such incidents were reported with 36 resulting fatalities, noted GeneralAviation.com.
Property owners can report an obstruction to the FAA’s Daily Digital Obstacle File by emailing the tower’s height and coordinates to 9-AJV-532-OBSTData-REQ@faa.gov.
October 2, 2019
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