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LAX Granted Waiver for Higher Power Travelers' Information Station

The FCC granted a request filed by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) asking for permission to increase the authorized power for site 2 of traveler's information station WNHV296 from 10 W to 100 W. LAWA stated in the request, "while the need for a power adjustment from 10 W to 100 W was evident prior to the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks, the adjustment is now essential to facilitate the airport's efforts to provide emergency communications to the traveling public in the event of a terrorist attack."

The waiver request was supplement in March 2003 with a copy of an article from the Los Angeles Times reporting that LAX is the location in California most susceptible to a terrorist attack.

The FCC Order granting the waiver request stated, "LAWA has demonstrated unique or unusual circumstances. The record demonstrates that LAX is at a notably higher risk of terrorist attacks than most other airports or major attractions that might operate a TIS.

"LAWA also has demonstrated that grant of its request would be in the public interest because it would allow LAWA to modify Station WNHV296 to cover a wider area. LAX is by far the nation's busiest airport as measured by originating and terminating passengers. Almost all of these passengers travel to or from the airport by automobile. No other airport has anywhere near the number of passengers using local roadways to travel to and from the airport. Thus, based on the information presented, we believe that the degree to which travelers in the area around LAX are dependent on the highway system and automobiles is considerably greater than with respect to other airports. Further, we afford great weight to the judgment of the Transportation Security Administration's Federal Security Director for LAX that, in the event the airport is closed or operations are restricted during an emergency security episode, LAWA would need to disseminate information over a wider area than that served by other airports' TIS stations.

"We are persuaded that grant of the requested power increase would enable LAWA to contact a greater number of vehicles en route to, or in the vicinity of, LAX. In addition, a wider service area also would allow for better traffic management, including helping people leave the area as well as helping emergency vehicles make their way to the airport.

"In addition, we conclude that enabling LAWA to communicate with the general public over a wider area in the event of an emergency is in the public interest, in order to facilitate traffic control, evacuation procedures, and emergency response."

WNHV296 operates on 530 KHz.