Burned-Out Tower Lights Draw $10,400 Citation
FCC says owner failed to notify FAA
July 22, 2014
—A Virginia-based business is being fined $10,400 for letting the
lights go out on its antenna and not notifying federal flight authorities right away. Washington Gas Light of Springfield, Va., was
cited by the Federal Communications Commission this week over a lighting outage
on its antenna structure located in Prince Frederick, Md.
“The Enforcement Bureau alleged that Washington Gas failed to exhibit required lighting on its antenna structure, notify the
Federal Aviation Administration immediately of the lighting outage, and inform
the commission regarding its purchase of the antenna structure,” the FCC Forfeiture
Washington Gas pleaded for a reduction in the fine, saying it did notify the
FAA before the FCC investigated the situation and had a history of compliance.
The FCC contends Washington didn’t notify the FAA until after the
investigation. FCC rules require tower owners to “immediately” report to the
FAA lighting outages lasting longer than 30 minutes.
“By its own admission, Washington Gas knew about the lighting outage by Oct.
15, 2010, but did not notify the FAA until Oct. 19, 2010,” the Order said.
Washington Gas Light was originally levied a $13,000 fine in September of 2011
in a Notice of Apparent Liability. The commission down-adjusted it to $10,400
based on Washington’s otherwise clean record.