[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 7 (Wednesday, January 11, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 1661-1664]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-351]



47 CFR Part 90

[WT Docket No. 11-202; FCC 11-185]

Private Land Mobile Radio Service Regulations

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: This document proposes to modify our rules to permit the 
implementation of foreign object debris (FOD) detection radar in the 
78-81 GHz band. FOD at airports can seriously threaten the safety of 
airport personnel and airline passengers and can have a negative impact 
on airport logistics and operations. We seek comment on service and 
technical rules, and on whether such operations should be authorized on 
a licensed or unlicensed basis.

DATES: Submit comments on or before February 10, 2012 and reply 
comments are due on or before February 27, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by WT Docket No. 11-202; 
FCC 11-185, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Federal Communications Commission's Web Site: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request 
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language 
interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: [email protected] or phone (202) 418-
0530 or TTY: (202) 418-0432.
For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional 
information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Maguire, Mobility Division, 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-2155.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (``NPRM'') in WT Docket No. 11-202, 
FCC 11-185, adopted December 15, 2011, and released December 20, 2011. 
The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying 
during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th 
Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text may be purchased 
from the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 
445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. The full text 
may also be downloaded at: www.fcc.gov. Alternative formats are 
available to persons with disabilities by sending an email to 
[email protected] or by calling the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau 
at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (tty).

I. Procedural Matters

A. Ex Parte Rules-Permit-but-Disclose Proceeding

    1. The proceeding this Notice initiates shall be treated as a 
``permit-but-disclose'' proceeding in accordance with the Commission's 
ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy 
of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral 
presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a 
different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons 
making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda 
summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or 
otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte 
presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and 
arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted 
in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already 
reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other 
filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such 
data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other 
filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where 
such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the 
memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex 
parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must 
be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by 
rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of 
electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda 
summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, 
must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available 
for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., 
.doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding 
should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

B. Comment Dates

    2. Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 
47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply 
comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this 
document. Comments may be filed using: (1) The Commission's Electronic 
Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government's eRulemaking 
Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of 
Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
    [ssquf] Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

[[Page 1662]]

    [ssquf] Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file 
an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one docket or 
rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers 
must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or 
rulemaking number.
    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial 
overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service 
mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, 
Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
    [ssquf] All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for 
the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 
12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 
8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber 
bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering 
the building.
    [ssquf] Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton 
Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
    [ssquf] U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail 
must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington DC 20554.
    People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible 
formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic 
files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the 
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 
418-0432 (tty).

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    3. This NPRM may contain proposed new information collection 
requirements dependent on which potential licensing scheme the 
Commission adopts. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to 
reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection 
requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, pursuant to the 
Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 
U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might further 
reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns 
with fewer than 25 employees.

II. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    4. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the 
Commission has prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 
(IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of 
the policies and rules proposed in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making 
in WT Docket No. 11-202 (NPRM). Written public comments are requested 
on this IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and 
must be filed by the deadlines for comments on the NPRM as provided on 
the first page of this document. The Commission will send a copy of the 
NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the 
Small Business Administration.\1\ In addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or 
summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.\2\

    \1\ See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).
    \2\ Id.

    5. The proposed rules in the NPRM are intended to permit the 
implementation of foreign object debris (FOD) detection radar in the 
78-81 GHz band. FOD at airports can seriously threaten the safety of 
airport personnel and airline passengers and can have a negative impact 
on airport logistics and operations.

A. Legal Basis

    6. Authority for issuance of this item is contained in sections 
4(i), 303(r), and 403 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 
U.S.C. 154(i), 303(r), and 403.

B. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which 
the Proposed Rules Will Apply

    7. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3), the RFA directs agencies to 
provide a description of and, where feasible, an estimate of the number 
of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if 
adopted. The RFA generally defines the term ``small entity'' as having 
the same meaning as the terms ``small business,'' ``small 
organization,'' and ``small governmental jurisdiction.'' Id. In 
addition, according to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the term ``small business'' has 
the same meaning as the term ``small business concern'' under the Small 
Business Act. A small business concern is one that: (1) Is 
independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of 
operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the 
SBA at 5 U.S.C. 632. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory 
definition of a small business applies ``unless an agency after 
consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the SBA, and after 
opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of 
such term which are appropriate to the activities of the agency and 
publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.'' Below, we 
further describe and estimate the number of small entity licensees and 
regulatees that may be affected by the rules changes proposed in this 
    8. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for airport 
operations within the two broad economic census categories of ``Air 
Traffic Control'' and ``Other Airport Operations.'' See 13 CFR 121.201, 
NAICS codes 488111 and 488119. Under both categories, the SBA deems a 
business to be small if it has average annual receipts of seven million 
dollars or less. For the census category of Airport Operations, Census 
Bureau data for 2007 show that there were 1,075 firms in this category 
that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 899 had annual 
revenue of less than five million dollars, and 74 had annual revenue 
between five and ten million dollars. Thus, under this category and 
associated small business size standard, the majority of firms can be 
considered small.
    9. Some of the rules proposed herein may also affect small 
businesses that manufacture aviation radio equipment. The Commission 
has not developed a definition of small entities applicable to aviation 
radio equipment manufacturers. Therefore, the applicable definition is 
that for Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications 
Equipment Manufacturers. The Census Bureau defines this category as 
follows: ``This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in 
manufacturing radio and television broadcast and wireless 
communications equipment. Examples of products made by these 
establishments are: Transmitting and receiving antennas, cable 
television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones, mobile 
communications equipment, and radio and television studio and 
broadcasting equipment.'' The SBA has developed a small business size 
standard for Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless 
Communications Equipment Manufacturing, which is: All such firms having 
750 or fewer employees. See 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS codes 334220. For 
this category of manufacturers, Census data for 2007, which supersede 
the similar data in the 2002 Census, show that there were 398 such 
establishments that operated that year. Of those 398 establishments, 
393 (approximately

[[Page 1663]]

99%) had fewer than 1,000 employees and 912 (approximately 97%) had 
fewer than 500 employees. Between these two figures, the Commission 
estimates that about 915 establishments (approximately 97%) had fewer 
than 750 employees and, thus, would be considered small under the 
applicable SBA size standard. Accordingly, the majority of 
establishments in this category can be considered small under that 

C. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

    10. The rule changes under consideration in the NPRM would require 
manufacturers to meet certain criteria and potential users to operate 
the equipment as prescribed in the rules. We believe the proposed rules 
would have no other significant effect on the compliance burdens of 
regulatees. We invite comment on our tentative conclusion that the 
possible rule changes will not have a negative impact on small 
entities, or for that matter any entities, and do not impose new 
compliance costs on any entity. To the extent that commenters believe 
that any of the above possible rule changes would impose a new 
reporting, recordkeeping, or compliance burden on small entities, we 
ask that they describe the nature of that burden in some detail and, if 
possible, quantify the costs to small entities.

D. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities and Significant Alternatives Considered

    11. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant 
alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, 
which may include the following four alternatives: (1) The 
establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or 
timetables that take into account the resources available to small 
entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of 
compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; 
(3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an 
exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small 

    \3\ 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(4).

    12. We hereby invite interested parties to address any or all of 
these regulatory alternatives and to suggest additional alternatives to 
minimize any significant economic impact on small entities. Any 
significant alternative presented in the comments will be considered.

E. Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the 
Proposed Rules

    13. None.

III. Ordering Clauses

    14. Pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 303(f), 303(g), and 303(r) of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 303(f), 
303(g), and 303(r), this Notice of Proposed Rule Making Is Adopted.
    15. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, 
Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Notice of 
Proposed Rule Making, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
    16. Pursuant to sections 4(i), 302, and 303(e), of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 302, and 
303(e), and Sec.  1.3 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.3, the 
Request for Waiver filed by Trex Enterprises Corporation on November 3, 
2010, Is Granted In Part and Denied In Part to the extent set forth 
above. This action is effective upon release of the Order.

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 90

Communications equipment, Private land mobile, Radio.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 90 as follows:


    1. The authority citation for part 90 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Sections 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7) of 
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 
303(g), 303(r), 332(c)(7).

    2. Section 90.103 is amended by revising the table in paragraph (b) 
by inserting a new entry at the end of the table and by adding 
paragraph (c)(30) to read as follows:

Sec.  90.103  Radiolocation Service.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *

[[Page 1664]]

                  Radiolocation Service Frequency Table
        Frequency or band          Class of stations      Limitations
                              * * * * * * *
78,000-81,000...................  do.................                 30

     (c) * * *
    (30) Eligibility is restricted to airport authorities, or entities 
approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Use is limited to 
foreign object debris detection.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2012-351 Filed 1-10-12; 8:45 am]