FCC Set to Approve Air Hazard Warning Systems

The proposed rule would clear the way for aviation safety technology installed by OCAS Inc. that already has FAA approval. OCAS, a Norwegian firm, won approval earlier this month from the Swedish Transport Agency.

An automated system that uses 3D radar and turns on obstacle lights and audibly warns pilots if they enter a zone near a wind turbine, communications tower, power line, or bridge is about to be approved by the Federal Communications Commission. FCC on March 30 published a proposed rulemaking to amend part 87 of FCC rules to permit the audio visual warning systems (AVWS) stations, responding to a petition from OCAS Inc., which already has FAA approval for its technology.

The FCC asked for comments by May 31, 2011 and reply comments by June 28.

OCAS is a small company based in Oslo, Norway, with a U.S. subsidiary and an office in Germany. So far, it has some 60 systems installed with more than 1 million operating hours amassed. The systems are approved by aviation authorities in Norway, Canada, the United States, and now Sweden. On March 18, OCAS announced that Transportstyrelsen (The Swedish Transport Agency) had for the first time approved the use of the technology at a wind farm in southern Sweden.

To submit a comment about the FCC rule, identify it WT Docket No. 10-61, FCC 11-25, and submit by www.regulations.gov or http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. The contact for additional information is Tim Maguire in the Mobility Division of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, 202-418-2155.

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