SAFETY - Policy on Use of Aircraft-Warning Marking at Cableways

In Reply Refer To: 
Branch of Operational Support 
Mail Stop 405 
Sunset Date:  Sept. 2005 
      

                                                                        
September 19, 2000 

                                   

      
WATER RESOURCES DIVISION POLICY MEMORANDUM NO. 2000.13 
      
Subject:  SAFETY- Policy on Use of Aircraft-Warning Marking at Cableways 
      
It is Water Resources Division (WRD) policy to comply with Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA) recommendations regarding use of aircraft 
warning markers at cableways.  Congress has charged the FAA with the 
responsibility to promote the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of 
navigable airspace.  The regulatory framework that governs the conduct of 
the FAA's obstruction evaluation program is Title 14, Code of Federal 
Regulations, part 77.  As a part of the obstruction evaluation program, 
the FAA makes recommendations on marking structures that are considered 
obstructions to air navigation. 
      

Marking Criteria

      
The obstruction standards set forth in part 77 that pertain to cableways 
include height and proximity to airports.  Any structure that exceeds an 
overall height of 200 feet (ft) above the surrounding terrain should 
normally be marked.  The FAA may also recommend marking a structure of 
lesser height located within 20,000 ft of an airport or 5,000 ft of a 
heliport.   
      
The FAA recently conducted an evaluation of USGS cableways in the 
Washington District and concluded that the cableways did not exceed 200 ft 
above the surrounding terrain or exceed the obstruction standards 
contained in part 77.  Consequently, the FAA did not recommend marking any 
cableways. 
      

Required Actions

      
1.  New Cableways -- plans for construction of new cableways that exceed 
200 ft above the surrounding terrain, or structures of a lesser height 
within 20,000 ft of an airport or within 
5,000 ft of a heliport, shall be submitted to the FAA for an aeronautical 
study to determine whether marking is necessary.   
    
2.  Existing Cableways -- District Chiefs shall notify the Regional 
Hydrologist within 6 months of the date of this memorandum to verify that: 

      
     a.  all active and deactivated cableways in their districts have been 
reviewed; and those cableways that exceed 200 ft high, or structures of a 
lesser height within 20,000 ft of an airport or within a 5,000 ft of a 
heliport, have been submitted to the FAA for an aeronautical study.  (A 
list of the cableways submitted to FAA will be provided to the Regional 
Hydrologist); and 

     b.  all active and deactivated cableways in their districts that are 
presently equipped with aircraft warning markers have been submitted to 
the FAA to have an aeronautical study completed.  (A list of the cableways 
equipped with markers will be provided to the Regional Hydrologist.)  The 
purpose of the aeronautical study of existing markers is twofold:   1) to 
alert the FAA of the existence of a marked structure, and  2) to obtain an 
FAA recommendation on whether the aircraft warning markers shall be 
maintained, and if they are to be maintained, whether they meet FAA 
standards. 
    
3.  District Chiefs shall notify the Regional Hydrologist within 1 year of 
the date of this memorandum to verify that any necessary actions or 
modifications were made to conform to FAA recommendations. 
      
4.  The results of the FAA aeronautical study shall be retained by the 
districts in their appropriate gaging station permanent files. 
      
A request for an FAA aeronautical study requires the submission of a 
completed FAA Form 7460-1, Notice of Construction or Alteration to your 
FAA Regional Office.  The FAA provides this service at no cost to the 
USGS.  Costs will be incurred by the USGS if the FAA recommends that the 
structure be marked, or if a presently marked cableway needs to be 
modified or have the markers removed.  The following electronic documents 
have been attached to assist in the submission: 
      
     Requirements for notifying the FAA/Addresses of the Regional Offices 
     Instructions for completing FAA Form 7460-1 
     FAA Form 7460-1 

Any questions regarding this policy and guidelines should be directed to 
your Regional Safety Officer. 
      
      
                                      /signed/ 

                                      Catherine L. Hill 
                                      Associate Chief Hydrologist 
                                      for Program Operations 

3 Attachments (See the words Requirements, Instructions, and FAA Form)

Distribution:  A, B, S, FO, PO, DC 

This Policy Memorandum supersedes WRD Memorandum No. 84.57.