Published since 1946
FCC and FAA Guidelines Change Tower Lighting Requirements
New guidelines released this month by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly encourage communication tower operators to shut off or reprogram steady-burning lights to flashing lights. The changes will reduce energy usage while also reducing the impacts to migratory birds that are attracted to or disoriented by the steady red or white lights on towers. It is estimated that up to seven million birds are killed each year due to collisions with towers or the guy wires that support the towers. The new guidelines include new configurations that still warn pilots of the towers, but are anticipated to significantly reduce the number of birds that are killed by the towers.
?By extinguishing the non-flashing lights on towers, we can reduce night-time bird fatality rates by as much as 70 percent,? said Dr. Christine Sheppard, American Bird Conservancy's Bird Collisions Campaign Manager. ?We wish to thank the operators of the 700-plus towers that have already switched their lighting to help reduce mortality of birds. But there are still some 15,000 tall towers across the U.S. with outdated lights that are dangerous for birds. We are asking all tower operators to make this cost-saving and life-saving switch to help migratory birds.?