The National Tower Erectors Association on Wednesday praised the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 302: The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. The act authorizes federal aviation programs for five years. The legislation contains a number of provisions NATE supports.
The bill includes language designed to promote the safe use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and outlined how UAS are to be integrated into the National Airspace System. “NATE and our 740 member companies are ‘all-in’ on the commercial utilization of drones in the wireless and broadcast infrastructure industries and we are pleased with the final product of the FAA reauthorization legislation,” said NATE Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Jim Goldwater.
He said the language gives the FAA needed flexibility to regulate drones “while implementing remote identification and tracking standards to help counter potentially malicious UAS operations.” The legislation also outlines a process to allow more commercial drone operations over people and beyond visual line of sight.
The FAA act also clarifies that communication towers between 50-200 feet will not have to be marked if they are registered in an FAA location database. “NATE has been collaborating for many months with key industry organizations on this specific marking issue and was grateful to see this compromise language become part of the law,” Goldwater said.
Wireless Infrastructure Association President/CEO Jonathan Adelstein said: “I am thrilled that the FAA Reauthorization Act included several essential provisions reducing the unnecessary requirement for the marking of certain communications towers. This clarification will protect the safety of low-flying aviation without imposing unnecessary regulations that would impede the deployment of 5G wireless services.”