How Automatic Alarm Systems Help You Avoid $25K in Fines for Tower Lighting Malfunctions

Have you experienced lighting issues with the towers you manage and maintain? Current monitoring solutions allow you to avoid the costs of manual checks and potential fines by checking and notifying you of potential issues immediately on either your computer or smartphone. With proactive monitoring solutions, you can reduce downtime, save money and easily observe your wireless communications network.

FAA and Transport Canada Tower Lighting Regulations

To ensure that all structures are visible during the day and at night, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transport Canada govern obstruction and aircraft warning light regulations. According to FAA tower lighting requirements, any tower, building, or temporary structure that exceeds 200 feet requires obstruction marking and lighting.

Some common examples of requirements include:

  • Using flashing and or steady aviation red obstruction lights during nighttime hours
  • Antenna structure lights should be inspected at least once every 24 hours
  • Any light failure or malfunction that lasts for more than 30 minutes should be reported immediately
  • Maintain an automatic alarm system designed to detect any failure of lights, providing notification of the failure to the owner

Adhering to these FAA and Transport Canada tower lighting requirements is essential for aircraft safety, as negligence poses a threat to aircrafts, pilots and passengers. Along with reviewing the FAA lighting standards, it’s important to perform a site assessment to make sure that your site is up to the right codes and standards.

Not following the requirements could cost you a civil penalty of approximately $10,000 for each violation, with each day constituting a separate offence. In one reported case, a company was fined $25,000 for failing to properly light two antenna structures, failing to notify the FAA, and failing to properly maintain structures.


GPIO for Instant Detection of Tower Lighting Malfunctions

The General Purpose Input Output (GPIO) is a standard interface for connecting controllers to other electronic devices. For tower site monitoring, GPIO is essential software for relaying information, such as power failures, alarm notifications, and backup battery power. GPIO allows users to access equipment data 24/7, providing essential information about lighting and malfunctions.

Without remote tower monitoring, your business will need to send a qualified technician to routinely check on tower light systems in person. This results in added labour costs, lost time for troubleshooting, and any fines associated with the issues. Industries that use monitoring software to save time and money on maintaining their remote sites include oil and gas, public safety, utilities, transportation, and government.


Key Benefits of Automatic Alarm Systems for Tower Sites

System owners, technicians, and managers have been reluctant to switch to off-site monitoring technologies, claiming they’re too hard to install, too expensive, or too complicated to use. But when using tower site monitoring software, users quickly see the benefits of being notified of malfunctions in real-time.

System owners and managers gain an advantage by measuring the performance and outcome of their field service team. Wireless monitoring technology supports success by providing real-time visibility of service and equipment data, resulting in a proactive approach to evaluating outcomes.

  • Managing Costs – Off-site monitoring helps your business avoid sending technicians to do site visits when everything’s working fine. For example, with custom alerts, your team will be notified when there is a lighting malfunction, so you can allocate resources accordingly.
  • Improved Service Quality – With tower lighting located in remote areas, monitoring your system can notify the closest workers to the jobsite. This just-in-time approach allows faster resolution when a power outage or wiring issue arises. This means that instead of a customer calling you after a problem has occurred, your team will be notifying the customer that the issue is already being resolved. 
  • Streamlined Operation – In some cases, issues can be identified before a major problem occurs. For example, having the information to recognize weather trends allows field service members to maintain normal operations when ice, wind or sleet could damage towers. They’ll be better equipped to anticipate problems, order parts beforehand, and avoid any major issues.
  • Regulatory Compliance – With the FCC regulations stating that tower lights should be observed at least once every 24 hours, off-site monitoring allows your team to use automatic indicators instead of travelling to the site. Ensuring that your tower sites are compliant and equipped to quickly detect lighting malfunctions will help your team pre-empt issues and avoid violation fines.


The Rimot Complete Solution

With our RimotRF tower monitoring system, you can enable your technical service teams to be proactive. The user-friendly platform helps to monitor equipment at remote locations, provides information to dispatchers, delivers prompt notifications when critical thresholds have been reached, and helps your team to easily analyze on-going system performance data.

RimotRF’s GPIO can monitor tower lighting controllers in addition to equipment like generators and HVAC. Beyond GPIO, RimotRF can continuously monitor vital data including:

  • RF Health – Forward power, reflected power, and VSWR
  • Site Health – AC power, temperature, humidity, and intrusion
  • Weather – Wind speed, precipitation rate, and outside temperature
  • Insight – Web-based interface, alarms reported via SMS and email, reporting, and built-in analysis features

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