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FAA keeps tower markings "voluntary" 

Credit:  By Mary Grady, Contributing editor, www.avweb.com 27 June 2011 ~~

The FAA received over 450 comments on its proposed guidance for marking meteorological evaluation towers that are less than 200 feet high, and last week published its final policy, which requests voluntary compliance. “Many commenters responded that marking and lighting of METs should be mandatory,” the FAA said in its final rule. “It is not feasible for the FAA to maintain a national database for structures that are less than 200 feet AGL.” The NTSB and the National Agricultural Aviation Association were among those who weighed in to ask the FAA to make it mandatory to mark the towers, which have been blamed for at least three fatal airplane accidents.

The towers are set up in sites where wind energy developments are under consideration, and are used to measure wind speed and direction. Many fall just below the 200-foot threshold for FAA-required obstruction markings. The new FAA policy recommends that owners should paint the towers with alternating bands of aviation orange and white paint. Owners also should place high-visibility sleeves and/or spherical markers on the guy wires, the FAA said. AOPA submitted comments noting that the towers pose a “significant hazard to many types of aeronautical operations,” and supported the FAA proposal to set voluntary procedures.

Source:  By Mary Grady, Contributing editor, www.avweb.com 27 June 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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