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Mr. LEE. Well, I think that in television you find some pretty essential services now, even in defense.
Mr. HINSHAW. That cannot be given by several towers of less than 2,500 feet?
Mr. LEE. It is true that you could cover the Nation very adequately with relatively small towers if you could find the communities that could support it.
This is a matter of economics. You cannot put up a station where you do not get advertising support to pay for it. I suppose an average might be $500,000 to put up a tower and transmitter, and they have to put them up near urban centers and high enough to get the rural coverage.
Mr. HINSHAW. Mr. Chairman, the Federal Government has preempted, practically preempted, the use of all airspace above 500 feet above the terrain. I would say that all of the agencies of the Government that have the duty of either regulating or using that space should have a say as to what should go into that space.
Mr. LEE. I certainly cannot quarrel with that.
Mr. HINSHAW. We have in the Federal Airports Act that the city or town or community should have certain rights in connection with the airspace around airports, to permit the landing and taking off of aircraft, and so on.
It seems to me that these matters should be worked out by unanimous agreement as between the various agencies concerned in the matter, and not be simply the single decision of the Commission, this one Commission, the Federal Communications Commission.
I think that we should go into that matter quite thoroughly, and I am sure Mr. Harris, the chairman, who also has a resolution, because he has House Joint Resolution 138 and I have House Joint Resolution 139 on this subject, will give that matter very careful hearing.
Mr. HARRIS. I think it should be noted for the record that the comments of the Federal Communications Commission on House Joint Resolutions 138 and 139 which we have were adopted by the Commission, April 6, 1955.
Mr. HARRIS. At the same time, I have the report of the Air Coordinating Committee, dated October 5, 1955, which is the initial report of the Joint Industry-Government Tall Structures Committee.
I think it would be helpful if this initial report were likewise included in the record at this time.
Now, the statement says:
A more detailed final report based upon these agreements referred to will be issued by the JIGTSC within approximately 60 days.
That is dated October 5, 1955, and of course it has been a lot longer
than 60 days since then.
Do you know why we have not heard from them?
(The information referred to follows:)
[Air Coordinating Committee, Washington, D. C., immediate, October 5, 1955] INITIAL REPORT OF JOINT INDUSTRY-GOVERNMENT TALL STRUCTURES COMMITTEE ISSUED
At its meeting held on January 13, 1955, the Air Coordinating Committee established a joint industry-Government committee to investigate the issues involved in the joint use of airspace by the aviation and broadcast industries, and to recom
mend appropriate action which would establish the position of the Federal Government in this matter.
The JIGTSC, at its meeting held on October 3, 1955, agreed to the findings contained in attachment A hereto. The representative of the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters abstained (statement attached), however, pending consideration of the text of attachment A by the NARTB Board of Directors sometime in January of 1956.
A more detailed final report based upon these agreements will be issued by the JIGTSC within approximately 60 days.
The JIGTSC approved the following findings on October 3, 1955:
"A. MULTIPLE ANTENNAS AND TOWER 'FARMS'
"The adoption of the single structure multiple antenna, and/or antenna tower 'farm' concept for radio and television transmitting antennas is necessary in order to compromise the conflict of interest between the aviation and broadcast industries.
"I. Control of transmitting towers
"The FCC has the authority to require radio and television transmitting antennas to be placed in 'farm' areas or to require the use of multiple antennas on a single supporting structure if the record shows that such action will be in the public interest, convenience, and necessity. Obviously there are some types of towers which would be excepted, as for example, towers along a petroleum line or towers for microwave transmission.
"The committee should request the FCC to initiate rulemaking to require that any application for a transmitting tower in excess of 500 feet in height above the ground should not only be reviewed by the ACC airspace panel to determine the aeronautical hazards involved, but should also be subjected to proof by the applicant as to why his tower could not be located in a 'farm' area or his antenna could not be located on an existing structure. The proposed rulemaking should include a requirement not only that all towers in excess of 500 feet in height should be either grouped in 'farm' areas or placed on a single structure, but also that 'farm' areas should be so spaced in relation to each other as to present the least hazard to aviation.
The committee recommends the location of all transmitting towers, Government and non-Government, regardless of height, in antenna farms wherever possible. However, this recommendation should not be interpreted as derogating FCC part 17 or CAA TSO-N18 except as may be necessary to implement the criteria which will be developed under section E of this paper.
"II. Control of receiving antenna towers
"Since the FCC does not have authority to control the erection of receiving antenna towers, except where such receiving antenna is on the same tower as a transmitting antenna (as in a microwave system), legislation should be requested which would control the installation, height, and location of receiving antenna towers. Such legislation should not provide any more stringent restrictions on receiving antennas than on transmitting antenas, and should be developed and coordinated within the ACC structure.
"In the event that the FCC should not desire to control receiving antenna towers under such legislation, there would be no objection to a move on the part of the Federal agencies concerned to have similar authority vested in some other agency, either at Federal, or possibly State, level.
"The object of such legislation would be to have the same criteria and principles apply to all tower structures. Such legislation should be sought by the FCC, with support of other interested agencies.
"B. CONTROL OF STRUCTURES OTHER THAN ANTENNA TOWERS
"I. Aviation viewpoint
"Appropriate legislation should be drafted to cover the erection, location, and height of other obstructions to aviation. Such legislation should be sought by the Department of Commerce, with the support of other interested agencies.
"C. CONTROL OF UNUSED OR ABANDONED TOWERS
"FCC authority to control the lighting, marking, or removal of unused or abandoned towers is not clear except where the person involved is a licensee of another station (s). This question is presently under consideration in the Commission. Accordingly, the FCC should require the removal or appropriate marking and lighting of unused or abandoned towers if such authority exists, and if such authority does not exist, the FCC should seek appropriate legislation to attain this objective.
D. ADDITIONAL LIGHTING AND MARKING
"(See also attachment B-Extract, TD minutes, sixth meeting, 1955)
"Full cooperation between the television and aviation industries toward improvement in the lighting and marking of radio and television antenna towers is assured and is in the initial stages of implementation in the ACC structure.
"E. CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING HEIGHT AND LOCATION
"The committee agrees in principle to the objectives set forth in (a), (b),(c), and (d) below:
"(a) To provide protection for low altitude intercity air routes;
"(b) To provide additional protection for high density air traffic areas, present and forecast;
"(c) To provide increased protection for airways and much used 'flyways'; "(d) To provide additional protection for areas in the vicinity of airports. "The committee agrees that criteria will be developed jointly which will afford additional protection for the areas specified in (a), (b), (c), and (d) above. This criteria, in addition to being necessary to accomplish the desired objectives, will serve as the guide to television and aviation interests in their consideration of mutual problems in the field.
"The working group expects that the criteria which will finally be agreed upon will satisfactorily limit the height of towers in accordance with the above principles.
"It is recognized that regardless of strict application of the foregoing principles and the criteria to be developed, certain applicants may in the future seek to erect towers of unreasonable heights in spite of sound engineering advice to the contrary. If and when such situations arise, the television interest are agreeable to consideration of additional means of control.
"F. IMPROVING AIRSPACE PANEL PROCEDURES
"After having reached a conclusion based solely on technical aviation considerations that a certain tower as proposed would be a hazard, the airspace panel should then determine whether or not the tower can be moved or shortened or whether aviation concessions can be made. At this point in its deliberation it will obviously be necessary for ASP to consider the direct cost of some physical relocation either on the part of television or aviation, in order that it may determine whether the economic burden should rest with television or aviation interests. In such cases, the airspace panel should not limit its consideration of antenna tower proposal solely to the question of aviation hazards involved, but should continue its present practice of considering economic and other factors in reaching a compromise mutually satisfactory to both television and aviation. "It is agreed by aviation interests that radio and television antenna towers in excess of 1,000 feet above the ground are, per se, considered to be unwarranted hazards (obstructions, menaces, etc.) to air navigation. However, under certain conditions antenna towers in excess of 1,000 feet above the ground may be required in the public interest, convenience, and necessity. In view of this, on all proposals considered by the airspace panel which would require towers in excess of 500 feet above the ground, the applicant should present complete justification, excluding all economic considerations except the direct costs of physical relocation. If the applicant fails to submit justification to the airspace panel, the panel will consider the application only from the aeronautical hazard perspective. "ACC coordination and cooperation should be maintained with State and local officials, who will be afforded opportunity to appear and present information with respect to State laws and local ordinances relating specifically to obstructions to air navigation.
"In addition, the airspace panel may wish the applicant to cite the particular page and paragraph of any FCC rule to which he may allude as an FCC requirement.
"The FCC will, insofar as practical, provide additional engineering and technical assistance at airspace meetings, beginning in the near future.
"G. BOOSTER AND SATELLITE STATIONS
"While the use of booster and satellite stations may in specific instances serve to resolve conflicts between the television and aviation industries, it is generally agreed that their use does not offer a satisfactory solution to the problem of broad area coverage."
Excerpt from Technical Division minutes, sixth meeting, 1955, September 7, 1955:
"Mr. Froman, speaking generally to the paper [ACC 59/10.12], apprised the Division of the interest the broadcast people have in wanting to get this TV tower marking and lighting problem solved. The industry, he continued, is not only willing to proceed with trial applications but they have stated they will be happy to mark some of their own towers in accordance with the proposed standards in this paper, on an experimental basis, which will mean a savings to the Government of from $150,000 to $300,000. It is an established fact that the towers as they are presently marked are not always visible. He suggested that AGA should set up and monitor a program to remedy this situation, and that it do so in collaboration with the TV people and the FCC.
"Messrs. Robert Kennedy and Prose Walker, representing the broadcast-television industries on the JIGTSC working group, confirmed that the aviation and the broadcast-television interests are in agreement relative to the broadcast-television industries' role concerning the cost of experimental lighting and marking as set forth by Mr. Froman."
STATEMENT OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RADIO AND TELEVISION BROADCASTERS REGARDING JIGTSC WORKING GROUP REPORT DATED SEPTEMBER 15, 1955 The National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters has advised the Air Coordinating Committee that, for the reasons set forth below, it must seek the authorization of its board of directors before taking a position in regard to the proposed report dated September 15, 1955, and, therefore, it must abstain from voting at the present time.
The association recognizes that there is an inherent conflict between the public interests requirements of broadcasters for high towers and the public interest requirements of the aviation industry for the proper safeguarding of obstructions to prevent them from becoming hazards. Obviously, neither industry can expect to have its claim fully recognized at the expense of destroying the rights of the other. Therefore, a mutually acceptable method of reconciling these differences is not only desirable but essential if the maximum public benefit is to be achieved. The association further recognizes that the Federal Communications Commission is the proper forum for the resolution of these differences since it is the final authority on the question of broadcast tower heights. For these reasons, a representative of the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters has participated in the work of this committee since its inception.
The proposed report contains recommendations that are of extreme importance to the future of the broadcasting industry as a whole. The acceptance or the rejection of these recommendations, in whole or part, may also vitally affect the interests of individual broadcasters. A policy decision of this magnitude can only be made by the board of directors. The association representative has assumed that, once a concrete proposal had been formulated, each participating party would have the opportunity to report to its governing body and receive in
structions before a final vote on the report would be requested. The next meeting of the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters' board of directors will be in January and the entire question will be presented at that time. If any earlier action is required by the other parties, the association must regretfully abstain from voting with the express understanding that such abstention is not to be construed as either approval or disapproval of the proposed committee report, either in whole or in part.
Mr. LEE. Our subcommittees are still working on many of these problems that have turned out to be more complex than we thought. For example, I think Mr. Hinshaw would be interested in this. One very real problem is the matter of abandoned towers. This television business is not all gold, contrary to what some people believe, and there are quite a number of stations who have gone off the air, something over 100. In some cases they are bankrupt, and here is a great big tower sticking up in the air and somebody has to pay the light bill to keep it lighted, for example, and no Government agency apparently has jurisdiction to require the lighting.
That is one of the things we would like to consider, recommending perhaps to this committee some thought as to legislation, empowering some kind of control over the abandoned towers.
Mr. HALE. Jurisdiction over what?
Mr. LEE. To remove the tower or even to require someone to continue to pay for its lighting, because sometimes it is dependent on the location. It is more expensive to take it down than to put it up.
If you are on a prairie, it is easy to knock it down, but I saw one in Bellville, Ill., right in the middle of town.
We did have one case where the licensee was bankrupt, I believe, and the power company wanted to know who was going to pay the bill. I think that was resolved just as a public interest question by the power company, and there is more than one power company just going ahead and keeping it lighted.
Mr. HARRIS. That seems to be something that should be given consideration.
Mr. FLYNT. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Flynt.
Mr. FLYNT. I would like to include this statement in the record, that there is a lot more involved in this thing than a question of legal technicalities.
As I see it, it is a question of whether the law means what it says or whether the law should be construed, not according to what the law says but according to what certain individuals or commissions or courts think the law ought to say.
Mr. HARRIS. That is a very appropriate and clear statement, too. Mr. HINSHAW. That is always true, Mr. Chairman, of the gentleman who has made an excellent statement.
Mr. HARRIS. This committee has legislative jurisdiction over civil aviation as well as the Federal Communications Commission. We are naturally interested in the public. The public is interested in both air transportation and radio and television service.
We do not take in a position of trying to interfere with one service or the other. If there is a conflict of interests, somebody is going to have to resolve it. Certainly we want to be careful that neither of these great industries is injured by the act, not only of Congress but as a result of this committee action.
Any further questions?