Through the efforts of the Oklahoma Agricultural Aviation
Association and other groups, the Oklahoma legislature passed a statute requiring the marking
of MET towers over 50 feet, joining Colorado and Washington in passing bills in
The law, HB
3348, signed by Gov. Mary Fallin May 23, requires the Oklahoma
Aeronautics Commission to promulgate rules ensuring anemometer towers are “clearly
recognizable during daylight hours.” The law gives guidelines for the
commission to follow, including the consideration of tower painting, flagging and marking guywires. Once the commission issues its rule, the rule would
apply immediately upon promulgation to new towers, and would give a one-year
exemption to existing towers.
The law also requires the Aeronautics Commission to establish and
maintain a database of MET towers by Nov. 1, 2015. The commission is also
directed to promulgate rules requiring MET tower owners to provide the
commission with location, height and any other information the commission deems
necessary. Tower owners are also required to notify the commission of the destruction or removal of MET
towers. The commission is also given discretionary authority to promulgate
rules regarding administrative penalties to enforce the act.
The law takes effect Nov. 1, 2014.
This new law follows a contentious veto that Gov. Fallin
issued in April of SB
1195, a similar tower marking bill. That bill contained specific
provisions requiring aviation orange and white painting, guywire balls and sleeves, and a 10-day notification period to the Aeronautics Commission prior to the
erection of new towers and 60-day notification period for owners of existing
towers. HB 3348 gives the Aeronautics Commissioner discretion over marking
specifics. Both bills require the establishment of a tower database. SB 1195
also specified misdemeanor status and financial penalties for noncompliance,
while HB 3348 only authorizes administrative penalties.