+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 11-13F

Marking of Meteorological and Telecommunication Towers

October 3, 2013
Expiry Date:
December 1, 2016
Active Status:
County of Grande Prairie,
MD of Taber
1 - Foothills-Little Bow
Transportation and Infrastructure
Incomplete Information
Vote Results:
Carried as Amended

WHEREAS the number of tower structures attributable to meteorological and telecommunication uses are increasing at a substantial rate each year in rural areas of Alberta; and 

WHEREAS the increasing number of meteorological and telecommunication towers within rural areas present a hazard to agricultural spray planes; and

WHEREAS many of the towers are not marked in such a way as to notify low flying aircraft of their presence; and 

WHEREAS the Industry Canada approval process, as defined within the Telecommunications Act, for new and existing meteorological and telecommunication towers defaults the requirements for aeronautical obstruction marking to Transport Canada requirements; and

WHEREAS Transport Canada Regulation 2012-1 outlines that marking of towers by lighting, painting and with marking balls on guyed wires is only required under specific circumstances and is not required on all towers erected; 

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties consult with the Government of Alberta to request the Minister of Industry Canada to amend the Telecommunications Act to require the marking of radio communication and telecommunications towers with marking lights, aeronautical paint and balls on the guyed wires in rural areas.

Member Background:

Telecommunication towers are under federal jurisdiction and regulated through the Radio Communication Act.   Under the authority of this Act, the federal Minister of Industry has the authority to issue radio authorizations, to approve each site on which antenna systems installations may be located, and in accordance with Section 69.3(1)(d) of the act “establish technical specifications and markings in relation to telecommunications apparatus or any class of telecommunications apparatus”.  

CPC-2-0-03 — Radio communication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems – Appendix 2 – Industry Canada’s Default Public Consultation Process – Public Notification Package (See Section 4.2) specifies that unless otherwise specified within municipal protocol the requirement to mark towers defaults to Transport Canada regulations. 

Section 5 of the Telecommunications Apparatus Regulations (SOR/2001-532) which is administered by Industry Canada reference the requirement to mark towers in accordance with regulations.

Currently regulations within Transport Canada do not specifically require the marking of towers with aviation orange paint and guide wires with balls to delineate the location of towers except in certain circumstances as defined within Transport Canada Regulation Section 601.23 as follows:

Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) 2012-1 – Subpart 1 – Airspace, Division III – Marking and Lighting of Obstacles to Air Navigation: 

Obstacles to Air Navigation  

601.23 (1) For the purposes of this Division, any building, structure or object, including any addition to it, constitutes an obstacle to air navigation if: (amended 2011/12/31) 

(a) it penetrates an airport obstacle limitation surface as calculated in Chapter 4 of the Standard entitled Aerodrome Standards and Recommended Practices, TP 312E, published by the Department of Transport; 

(b) it is higher than 90 m AGL and is located within 6 km of the geographical centre of an aerodrome; 

(c) it is higher than 90 m AGL and is located within 3.7 km of the centreline of a recognized VFR route, including, but not limited to, a valley, a railway track, a transmission line, a pipeline, a river and a highway; 

(d) it is higher than 150 m AGL; or 

(e) in the case of any catenary wires crossing over a river, any portion of the wires or supporting structures is higher than 90 m AGL. 

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), an addition to a building, structure or object includes any vertical mast, pole, tower or other object erected on top of the building, structure or object and adding to its height. (amended 2011/12/31) 

Marking and Lighting of Obstacles to Air Navigation

601.24 (1) Any person who plans to construct or modify a building, structure or object, or launch a tethered object shall notify the Minister of the proposed construction, modification or launch in accordance with the requirements of Standard 621 if the building, structure or object, or tethered object, will constitute an obstacle to air navigation. (amended 2011/12/31) 

(2) A person who has responsibility for or control over a building, structure or object that constitutes an obstacle to air navigation shall: (amended 2011/12/31) 

(a) mark and light the building, structure or object in accordance with the requirements of Standard 621; or 

(b) use the equivalent marking and lighting approved by the Minister under subsection 601.27(2)

Other Obstacles to Air Navigation

601.25 (1) If the Minister determines that a building, structure or object, other than a building, structure or object described in section 601.23, is hazardous to air navigation because of its height or location, the Minister shall require the person who has responsibility for or control over the building, structure or object to mark and light it in accordance with the requirements of Standard 621.  (amended 2011/12/31) 

(2) A person who is required by the Minister to mark and light a building, structure or object under subsection (1) shall (amended 2011/12/31) 

(a) do so within six months; and 

(b) cause to be received at the appropriate air traffic control unit or flight service station a notice identifying the nature, location and height of the building, structure or object. 

Telecommunications Act (S.C. 1993, c. 38)


69.3 (1) Subject to any regulations made under section 69.4, the Minister may, taking into account all matters that the Minister considers relevant to further the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives,

  • (a) issue technical acceptance certificates in respect of telecommunications apparatus and fix the duration and conditions of any such certificate;
  • (b) change the duration and amend the conditions of certificates;
  • (c) make available to the public any information set out in certificates;
  • (d) establish technical specifications and markings in relation to telecommunications apparatus or any class of telecommunications apparatus;
  • (e) test telecommunications apparatus for compliance with technical specifications and markings required under this Part;
  • (f) require holders of, and applicants for, certificates to disclose to the Minister any information that the Minister considers appropriate respecting the present and proposed use of the telecommunications apparatus in question;
  • (g) require holders of certificates to inform the Minister of any material changes in information disclosed under paragraph (f);
  • (h) appoint inspectors for the purposes of this Part; and
  • (i) do any other thing necessary for the effective administration of this Part.



69.4 (1) The Governor in Council may make regulations

  • (a) respecting requirements for technical specifications and markings in relation to telecommunications apparatus or any class of telecommunications apparatus;
  • (b) prescribing telecommunications apparatus, or classes of telecommunications apparatus, in respect of which a technical acceptance certificate is required;
  • (c) respecting the inspection, testing and approval of telecommunications apparatus in relation to technical acceptance certificates;
  • (d) prescribing the form of technical acceptance certificates or markings, or any class of certificates or markings;
  • (e) prescribing the procedure governing applications for technical acceptance certificates, or any class of certificates, and the issuing of certificates by the Minister;
  • (f) prescribing the conditions of technical acceptance certificates, including conditions as to the services that may be provided by the holder of a certificate;
  • (g) prescribing the eligibility and qualifications of persons who may be appointed as inspectors, and the duties of inspectors;
  • (h) for giving effect to international agreements, conventions or treaties respecting telecommunications apparatus to which Canada is a party;
  • (i) prescribing fees for technical acceptance certificates, applications for certificates and examinations or testing in relation to certificates, and respecting interest payable on unpaid fees;
  • (j) prescribing anything that by this Part is to be prescribed; and
  • (k) generally for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Part.

Telecommunications Apparatus Regulations (SOR/2001-532)


5. (1) Every telecommunications apparatus shall be marked with markings established by the Minister under subsection 69.3(1) of the Act, unless markings were applied to it before the coming into force of these Regulations in accordance with the Minister’s instructions.

(2) For greater certainty, subsection (1) does not preclude affixing markings for purposes other than the purposes of these Regulations.

(3) No person shall remove, replace or alter any markings that have been affixed, in accordance with subsection (1), on telecommunications apparatus.

(4) No person shall mark telecommunications apparatus in accordance with subsection (1) to indicate compliance with the applicable technical specifications unless the apparatus complies with those technical specifications.

(5) No person shall mark or label or otherwise indicate how to modify telecommunications apparatus so that it will not comply with the applicable technical specifications.

CPC-2-0-03 — Radiocommunication and Broadcasting Antenna Systems

Appendix 2 – Industry Canada’s Default Public Consultation Process – Public Notification Package (See Section 4.2)

The proponent must ensure that at least 30 days are provided for public comment. Notification must provide all information on how to submit comments to the proponent in writing. The proponent must also provide a copy of the notification package to the land-use authority and the local Industry Canada office at the same time as the package is provided to the public.

Notification must include, but need not be limited to: 

  1. the proposed antenna system’s purpose, the reasons why existing antenna systems or other infrastructure cannot be used, a list of other structures that were considered unsuitable and future sharing possibilities for the proposal; 
  2. the proposed location within the community, the geographic co-ordinates and the specific property or rooftop; 
  3. an attestation Footnote 1 that the general public will be protected in compliance with Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 including combined effects within the local radio environment at all times; 
  4. identification of areas accessible to the general public and the access/demarcation measures to control public access; 
  5. the project’s status under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act Footnote 2
  6. a description of the proposed antenna system including its height and dimensions, a description of any antenna that may be mounted on the supporting structure and simulated images of the proposal; 
  7. Transport Canada’s aeronautical obstruction marking requirements (whether painting, lighting or both) if available; if not available, the proponent’s expectation of Transport Canada’s requirements together with an undertaking to provide Transport Canada’s requirements once they become available; 
  8. an attestation that the installation will respect good engineering practices including structural adequacy; 
  9. reference to any applicable local land-use requirements such as local processes, protocols, etc.; 
  10. notice that general information relating to antenna systems is available on Industry Canada’s Spectrum Management and Telecommunications website (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/h_sf01702.html); 
  11. contact information for the proponent, land-use authorities and the local Industry Canada office; and closing date for submission of written public comments (not less than 30 days from receipt of notification.
RMA Background:

The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.


The AAMDC is still awaiting a response on this issue from the former Ministry of Industry Canada (now Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) and assigned this resolution a status of Incomplete Information.

The AAMDC believes that although the requirements in the Canadian Aviation Regulations are adequate for the majority of commercial and private aircraft, the minimum heights for the marking of antennas and other structures present a high level of risk to agricultural spray planes that commonly operate in rural areas. According to the United States-based National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), in the last ten years, 7.2% of agricultural spray plane fatalities were caused by collisions with towers, and another 13% were caused by collisions with power or telecommunications lines. The NAAA is advocating to the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority to require the marking of all guy wires and free-standing towers of more than 50 feet (15.24 metres) in height, which is significantly lower than the current standards in the Canadian Aviation Regulations, which are 150 metres. A similar request was made recently to Transport Canada by a coalition of the Canadian Aerial Applicators Association, the Helicopter Association of Canada, the Manitoba Aviation Council, and the Saskatchewan Aviation Council. The coalition requested that obstruction lighting and marking requirements apply to all towers exceeding 50 feet in height located outside the boundaries of a city or town on land that is primarily rural or undeveloped and utilized for agricultural or forestry purposes.  

The AAMDC plans to follow up with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, and Alberta Transportation on this issue.

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