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Small AM Station Hit With Violation Notice Over Tower and Station ID

Enforcement Bureau agents alleged painting and lighting issues

A recent visit to the small agricultural town of Hughson, Calif., led Enforcement Bureau staff to note that one Spanish-language station was in alleged violation when it came to lighting and painting its tower/antenna and noting on-air proper station identification.

The agent noted that on more than one occasion, there was no station identification announcement at the hour for KLOC(AM) 1390 kHz, which is licensed by La Favorita Radio Network. FCC rules say that broadcast station identification announcements shall be made hourly and as close to the hour as feasible.

[Read: FCC Pulls License of Alabama Station a Second Time]

The agent also noted several alleged tower and antenna issues, including irregular painting on an antenna installation, inadequate lighting, failure to notify the commission about inoperable lighting and faded painting.

The FCC Rules lay out specific requirements when it comes to painting and lighting towers and antennas — even relying on a paint tolerance chart created by the Federal Aviation Administration and given the heavy name of an In-Service Aviation Orange Tolerance Chart. FCC Rules also say that antenna structures should be cleaned and repainted as often as necessary to maintain good visibility.

So, too, are the FCC rules clear on tower lighting. A tower must be painted for visibility during daytime; during the night, a series of top flashing red obstruction lights and midpoint sidelights must be lit and operational. When those lights are not operating for some reason, the owner of the antenna structure has to report the problem to the FAA unless the lights are corrected within a 30-minute time frame. That notice — called an FAA Notice to Airmen — hadn’t yet been filed by the station, the Enforcement Bureau said.

The FCC has given La Favorita 20 days to submit a written statement explaining the violations and to clarify what action will be taken from here. The commission said it may take further action if warranted, including issuing a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture.

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