Construction of meteorological and other towers in rural areas is a concern to many in the aviation industry.
Often these towers do not have lights or other marking devices, and they are just under 200 feet tall—falling outside regulations governing tall structures. The dull color and small footprint can make these uncharted towers difficult to see.
The small size of the tower may leave little ground disturbance (footprint) to indicate the tower’s presence. At times, however, the footprint may be easier to spot than the tower itself! And most important, remember to always fly above 500 feet except when the operation requires flying at a lower altitude.
They can be erected in hours, making these vertical obstacles a major safety risk to aerial applicators plus other industries including helicopter emergency medical evacuation services, law enforcement, aerial firefighting, predator control, pipeline patrols, aerial wildlife surveys, and others. Returning to a field after a few days or even a few hours does not guarantee there are no obstructions as you may find a tower that wasn’t there earlier.
The MD of Taber has supplied the Alberta Aerial Applicators with a list of towers and wind turbines. This list includes the majority of aerial structures, but may not include private turbines or towers owned by agricultural producers, and does not include petroleum industry towers.
Standard 621 Chapter 12, Transport Canada
Alberta Aerial Applicators Association