New AM Tower Protection Rules Kick In Dec. 5

New FCC regulations go into effect Dec. 5 governing AM proofs and clarifying tower construction near AMs.

The topic stems from 2008, when the agency issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on both tower construction and on moment method computer modeling to demonstrate that certain AM directional antennas perform as authorized. At the time, the commission said the tower construction rule changes would simplify procedures and reduce costs.

Now, the commission has established a single protection scheme for tower construction and modification near AM tower arrays. The agency has also designated “moment method” computer modeling as the primary method to determine whether a nearby tower affects an AM radiation pattern. The industry told the agency moment method is more efficient, less time-consuming and costly than traditional directional AM field strength proofs.

Hatfield and Dawson Partner Stephen Lockwood said at the recent Radio Show his firm is excited about the changes because the updates move the regulations to something that’s more science-based. His firm was part of a coalition of broadcasters, consulting engineers and equipment manufacturers who originally proposed streamlining the AM tower rules.

Federal Registration publication triggered the effective date.


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