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Tower owners, FCC musing over how to stop taking out birds

Chris Ziegler

Cell towers have obviously always been a danger to aircraft and the occasional light changer or BASE jumper, but the FCC's been facing scrutiny from environmental groups for years over the risks towers pose to another group of fliers: birds. A February court battle brought against the feds by the American Bird Conservancy -- dealing specifically with the threat of so-called "tower kill" on migratory birds in the Gulf region -- saw a ruling demanding that the FCC finally get down to business and come up with a game plan for dealing with the threat that cell sites pose to birds, particularly at night. Naturally, there's still some hemming and hawing, legal wrangling, and wringing of hands going on amongst tower owners and their allies, largely over concerns that the ruling's going to lead to denied and delayed applications for new tower construction. Apparently no one's bothered to teach those little guys what the red lights mean?


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