FAA proposal to impact some VHF users

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing new rules that would require some VHF television stations to submit a notice of new construction or alteration under certain circumstances that might result in interference to air navigation, radio communication or surveillance facilities.

Specifically, the notice of proposed rulemaking would require anyone beginning new construction or modification to existing structures used for transmission to notify the FAA prior to undertaking the project.

In its notice, the FAA noted that VHF television frequency users in the 54MHz to 72MHz, 76MHz to 88MHz and 174MHz to 216MHz bands operate on frequencies “adjacent to or very close to frequencies” used by:

  • FAA radio navigation bands for marker beacons (75MHz)
  • Government land mobile facilities (162MHz to 174MHz)
  • Military air traffic (225MHz to 328.6MHz).

Electromagnetic interference in these bands can cause the loss of “critical landing information” and “datalink communications of ground systems may become unreliable.”

The proposed rule, made public in mid-June in the Federal Register, would affect stations seeking a change in their authorized frequency, an increase in effective radiated power of 3dB or greater or modification of “radiating elements.” Those would include antenna mounting locations if increased by more than 100ft, a change in antenna gain, beam width, polarization or pattern, and change in antenna azimuth bearing.

The change would also impact certain FM radio broadcasters, private land mobile radio service operators, public fixed radio service operators and fixed microwave service operators.

Comments are due Sept. 11.

To read the notice in its entirety, visit: http://dms.dot.gov/search/document.cfm?documentid=401410&docketid=25002.