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Lighting Requirements on Structures Below 200’ AGL

Congress recently passed HR 636 FAA Extension, Safety & Security Act, which serves as a one-year budget extension for the FAA. It contains several directives that must be addressed over the next year. One is to change the lighting requirements of tower marking for structures shorter than 200’ AGL. The FAA has one year to incorporate details of implementation into the advisory circular.

Essentially, any tower between 50’ and 200’ above ground level (AGL) that is less than 10’ in diameter at the base may be subject to lighting per AC 70/7460-1L, with some exceptions. It doesn’t appear there is anything you need to do right now other than be familiar with the lighting requirements below 200’ and be prepared for what may be deemed a “covered tower” when the AC is updated next year.

Please contact us if you have any lighting requirements questions and we will do our best to answer them with the information we have at this time.


HR 636 FAA Extension, Safety & Security Act, Section 10

Title II Subtitle A

a. IN GENERAL.— Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall issue regulations to require the marking of covered towers.

b. MARKING REQUIRED.— The regulations under subsection (a) shall require that a covered tower be clearly marked in a manner that is consistent with applicable guidance under the Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular issued December 4, 2015 (AC 70/7460–1L), or other relevant safety guidance, as determined by the Administrator.

c. APPLICATION.— The regulations issued under subsection (a) shall ensure that—

  1. all covered towers constructed on or after the date on which such regulations take effect are marked in accordance with subsection (b); and
  2. a covered tower constructed before the date on which such regulations take effect is marked in accordance with subsection (b) not later than 1 year after such effective date.


IN GENERAL.—In this section, the following definitions apply:

      1. IN GENERAL.—The term “covered tower” means a structure that—
        1. is self-standing or supported by guy wires and ground anchors;
        2. is 10 feet or less in diameter at the above-ground base, excluding concrete footing;
        3. at the highest point of the structure is at least 50 feet above ground level;
        4. at the highest point of the structure is not more than 200 feet above ground level;
        5. has accessory facilities on which an antenna, sensor, camera, meteorological instrument, or other equipment is mounted; and
        6. is located—

(aa) outside the boundaries of an incorporated city or town; or
(bb) on land that is—
(AA) undeveloped; or
(BB) used for agricultural purposes.

    1. EXCLUSIONS.—The term “covered tower” does not include any structure that—
      1. is adjacent to a house, barn, electric utility station, or other building;
      2. is within the curtilage of a farmstead;
      3. supports electric utility transmission or distribution lines;
      4. is a wind-powered electrical generator with a rotor blade radius that exceeds 6 feet; or
      5. is a street light erected or maintained by a Federal, State, local, or tribal entity.
  1. UNDEVELOPED.—The term “undeveloped” means a defined geographic area where the Administrator determines low-flying aircraft are operated on a routine basis, such as low-lying forested areas with predominant tree cover under 200 feet and pasture and range land.


(2) OTHER DEFINITIONS.—The Administrator shall define such other terms as may be necessary to carry out this section.
e. DATABASE.— The Administrator shall—

    1. develop a database that contains the location and height of each covered tower;
    2. keep the database current to the extent practicable;
    3. ensure that any proprietary information in the database is protected from disclosure in accordance with law; and
    4. ensure that, by virtue of accessing the database, users agree and acknowledge that information in the database—
      1. may only be used for aviation safety purposes; and
      2. may not be disclosed for purposes other than aviation safety, regardless of whether or not the information is marked or labeled as proprietary or with a similar designation.