The FCC has invited public comments on a Petition for Rule Making (RM-11826) from an Ohio radio amateur seeking to amend the Part 97 station identification rules to better accommodate and simplify station identification during an emergency net, drill, or activation. ARRL member Robert A. Dukish, KK8DX, filed the petition in December, and the FCC put it on public notice this week. Dukish seeks a change to Section 97.119(a) of the rules, which requires an amateur station to transmit its “assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at least every 10 minutes during a communication.” Continue reading
From ARRL News
Volunteer Examiner Coordinators across the US are continuing to receive paperwork from Amateur Radio exam sessions held during the partial government shutdown. While it’s still possible to access the Universal Licensing System (ULS) and file applications, the FCC is not processing individual, club, and exam session — new and upgrade — Amateur Radio applications. The FCC closed most operations on January 3, when available funding ran out. According to the FCC public notice, aside from a few emergency and auction-filing systems, all other Commission electronic filing systems will be unavailable to the public until normal agency operations resume.
Long-pending Amateur Radio antenna litigation that ARRL helped to fund has finally borne fruit. The Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department has ruled in the case of Myles Landstein, N2EHG, that the Town of LaGrange, New York, not only overstepped its state-granted authority by assessing excessive fees, but violated the limited federal preemption PRB-1 in the process. PRB-1 requires municipalities and states to “reasonably” accommodate Amateur Radio antennas and to apply the “minimum practicable regulation” in handling Amateur Radio antenna applications. The ruling is slated to be published as a case decision. Landstein had wanted to erect a 70-foot antenna support structure; the Town of LaGrange has a 35-foot height limit.
From ARRL News
Thanks to ARRL efforts on Capitol Hill, language in the 2018 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act, just signed by President Donald Trump, resolves the issue of problematic or preclusive rules affecting some rural Amateur Radio towers. The previous FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016 had instructed the FAA to enact tower-marking requirements, similar to those in some state statutes, aimed at improving aircraft safety in the vicinity of meteorological evaluation towers (METs). These towers are typically between 50 and 200 feet and set up in rural areas, often on short notice.
In the wake of fatal crop-dusting aircraft collisions with METs, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had recommended that states institute laws, sometimes called “crop duster” statutes, requiring marking and registration of METs. While some state crop-duster laws exempted ham radio towers, federal regulations dating to the 1996 FAA Reauthorization Act did not, and ARRL had expressed its concerns since. Continue reading