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Interference Condition Catches a Legal Eye

A new FAA interference condition on permits?

Here’s an interesting item that caught the eye of communications attorney Joe Chautin.

“We recently saw a written condition on an FM translator permit that caught our attention,” he wrote in the latest newsletter of Hardy, Carey, Chautin & Balkin.

The notation on the permit was titled “FAA Interference Condition” and stated that “Upon receipt of notification from the commission that harmful interference is being caused by the operation of the permittee’s/licensee’s transmitter, the permittee’s/licensee’s shall either immediately reduce the power to the point of no interference, cease operation, or take such immediate corrective action as is necessary to eliminate the harmful interference. This condition expires after one year of interference-free operation.”

Chautin told his clients in a blog post that he could not recall seeing such a general condition in the past and found it odd that it would expire after a year, since spurious emissions are always possible. “That being said, we surmise that the FCC and FAA have agreed (probably formally, somewhere) to include this condition on permits. Whether it will appear on any permit or only on select ones remains to be seen.”

He tells Radio World that he subsequently contacted an official of the FCC Media Bureau’s Audio Division official, who confirmed that the one-year interference condition is standard for any tower approved by the FAA with a “non-interference” caveat attached to it, “typically in an area where they are concerned about instrument landing issues. So, anyone on this tower should get the same condition with their permit.”

The law firm Hardy, Carey, Chautin & Balkin is based in Mandeville, La.; you can read this and other blog posts on its website.