The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today announced the key details associated with the inaugural NATE Member Congressional Fly-In Event in Washington, D.C. on May 14-15, 2019.The NATE Member Congressional Fly-In will be a time for representatives from NATE member companies across the country to converge in the Nation’s Capital. to conduct meetings with the congressional delegations and staff representing all of their respective states.
The Association will assist all participating NATE members with lining up their meetings with their designated state congressional delegations and staff. Additionally, all participating NATE members will receive an official copy of the NATE-branded 116thCongressional Directoryand will be thoroughly briefed with a NATE Legislative and Regulatory Priorities Briefing Paper.All of the Association’s congressional policy priorities are bi-partisan in nature.
“With over 855 member companies nationwide, NATE is excited to flex our grassroots muscle by hosting our organization’s first official member fly-in event in D.C. this spring,” said Executive Director Todd Schlekeway. “All politics is local and the fly-in event serves as a call to action for representatives from all NATE member companies to participate. Due to the extensive footprint of our membership, our companies can have a tremendous impact on their respective congressional delegations by virtue of where they are from and the prominent role their companies are playing in our vibrant industry,” added Schlekeway.
The NATE Member Congressional Fly-In will also be an opportunity to network with associatesfrom many of the other wireless, broadcast and utility industry organizations that the Association collaborates with. NATE will be hosting several fun networking eventsin conjunction with the fly-in. All of these networking events are free to attend for NATE member fly-in participants.
Additional information pertaining to the NATE Member Congressional Fly-In Event agenda and hotel information are included below for members to reference. To participate in the NATE Member Congressional Fly-In Event, please RSVP to [email protected]!
NATE has secured a small room block at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Capitol – Navy Yard. To access the exclusive$292/night rate (rates apply to Monday, May 13, Tuesday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 15 only and there is limited availability), guests need to copy and paste the URL (https://tinyurl.com/yxu3rxen) into your browser.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Capitol – Navy Yard
50 M Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
Reservations Line:202-899-2800 or 1-800-CALL-HOME
Group Name:NATIONAL ASS OCIATION OF TOWER ERECTORS / TOWER ERECTORS
Online Booking Link:https://tinyurl.com/yxu3rxen
If the NATE room block fills and additional rooms are not available at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Capitol – Navy Yard, here is a link with an alternativelisting of hotels in the area:https://www.capitolriverfront.org/plan-your-visit/hotels.For more information on NATE, visit www.natehome.com.
NATE today unveiled a video entitled “Tower Modifications: It’s All About the Sequence” that focuses on the do’s and dont’s of performing proper tower modifications. The video was unveiled as part of Volume 3 of the Association’s acclaimed Climber Connection series.
The informative video includes an interview with an experienced industry construction manager who articulates the importance of strictly adhering to the appropriate sequencing when conducting tower modification activities on communication structures, highlighting the information contained in the ANSI/ASSE A10.48 and ANSI/TIA 322 Standards related to tower modifications and emphasizing working in accordance with rigging plans for tower modification work.
“The release of this video is timely as tower modification activities continue to be on the rise throughout the industry as structures age,” said Ross Royer from NATE member company Tower MRL, Inc. in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. “I would encourage all tower crews to utilize this video as guide to ensure that they perform tower modification activities consistent with applicable industry standards and in a safe and quality manner,” added Royer.
Click HERE to watch the Tower Modifications video. NATE encourages tower technicians and industry stakeholders to actively participate in this campaign by posting the video on their respective social networking platforms using the hashtag #ClimberConnection. NATE also encourages industry workers to share their comments on the video through social interaction on the Association’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Climber Connection Volume 3 campaign was developed by the NATE Member Services Committee in conjunction with the NATE Safety & Education Committee and is designed to provide specific resources and communicate the Association’s message directly to the industry’s workforce.
June 6, 2017 —
The FCC and OSHA have announced the development of the Communications Tower Best Practices Guide, touting safety awareness and planning for all the entities involved in tower construction and maintenance.
“All entities should establish a comprehensive safety and health management system,” the guide said. “This system should address all of the hazards associated with communication tower work, and all companies should ensure that their safety and health management system is compatible with those requirements imposed by other companies in the contract chain.”
The collection of best practices for a safer working environment for construction and maintenance of communications towers was gathered from Department of Labor/FCC Joint Workshop on Tower Climber Safety held I the fall 2014.
“The guide is a result of the long-standing commitment of both agencies to ensuring the safety of tower workers,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and NTIA head Dorothy Dougherty said in a prepared statement. “In the spirit of good government and cooperation, our agencies have hosted workshops with input from industry stakeholders to identify and establish accepted practices for performing communication towers work safely.”
Compared with when carriers owned their own towers, the relationship between carriers and towers has become complex today, the guide said, with layers upon layers of subcontractors doing the work.
“As a result, carriers and tower owners may not know who is performing work for them, or when work is being performed,” according to the guide. “Thus, responsibility for worker safety is fractured into many layers. Instead of a single company having control and responsibility for worker safety and tower integrity, employer responsibilities can be spread over hundreds of small employers.”
As a matter of course, the guide has sections for tower climbers and ground crew workers, carriers and tower owners, turfing vendors, and tower construction and maintenance contractors. The guide stresses that it is for informational purposes only and does not represent a new regulation or standard or legal obligation.
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) assisted the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA and the FCC in developing the guide by providing subject matter experts and other tower safety resources. It also spoke at the two U.S. DOL-FCC joint workshops on tower climber safety. NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway congratulated the agencies on releasing the guide, noting that more work needs to be done in this area.
“NATE believes it is paramount that the U.S. DOL-OSHA and the FCC continue to collaborate to host additional workshops and stay engaged with all layers of the wireless infrastructure chain to ensure that workforce safety and quality remain the top priorities,” he said.
Click here for a copy of the Communications Tower Best Practices Guide
March 7, 2017
Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or “drones” face challenges from regulators and the need to educate the tower industry, which is unfamiliar with use cases, but within five years the technology should take off, according to a panel at NATE UNITE 2017, held last week in Fort Worth, Texas.
During the panel, “Unmanned Aerial Systems: The Next Frontier,” Gretchen West of the Commercial Drone Alliance said UAS has been slowed in the tower industry by the Trump Administration’s government-wide regulatory reform initiative. The FAA’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule (Part 107) needs modifications to allow growth for the drone industry, she noted.
“We are in a stumbling block position with the FAA and other government agencies,” West said. “At the end of the day, the drone industry is not going to stop because the FAA is stuck. That is going to force the federal government to act, because otherwise they are going to lose complete control over this industry.”
While a big improvement on previous rules, Part 107 still needs to be improved to unleash the potential of UAS, according to Greg Emerick of Sentera.
“The confidence to know that there is a legal and safe way to operate a drone is going to be a huge driver, he said. “Part 107 has helped with this but there are still areas that need clarification from a regulatory standpoint. Can an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operate over people who have given their consent? How close can they be to the UAV?” Current rules call for operation of UAVs on a visual line-of-sight basis only, which the tower industry finds too restrictive, he added.
The potential of UAS for carriers, tower companies and tower service companies, has yet to be understood by many companies, Emerick said. Sentera has provided companies with complete visual inspections of towers to confirm in the inventory of equipment, as well as the capture of thermal imagery and RF coverage data.
“Using the UAVs, data is collected, managed and analyzed,” Emerick said. “We have gone through the process and now they are evaluating the value of it and how it fits in with their processes.”
While every company is different, UAS will bring value in some way. It might be by simply reducing the number of climbs performed by using the drone to ensure the tower is safe to climb.
“Some might approach the use of drones from an engineering standpoint and do 3D modeling. The pictures taken by a drone can also be used to ensure regulatory compliance and establishing an inventory of space on the tower to market,” Emerick said. “Everyone is waiting to be told exactly what UAVs will do for them and how it will make money for them. We are just getting to that point now.”
Robert McCoy of Crown Castle said the driving force behind drone use at his company is the increased safety that it provides through reducing tower climbs, as well as providing new services to the carriers.
March 2, 2017 —
FORT WORTH, Texas – Decorated Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and FirstNet President TJ Kennedy delivered keynote remarks during their respective appearances at this week’s NATE UNITE 2017 Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.
Yesterday, Marcus Luttrell captivated NATE UNITE 2017 attendees with his inspirational message of courage, survival, teamwork, honor and patriotism at the T-Mobile sponsored Keynote Speaker Luncheon. Marcus Luttrell is a retired Navy SEAL who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism in 2006 by President George W. Bush. Luttrell is also the author of the best-selling book, Lone Survivor.
“Wow…..Marcus Luttrell’s impactful message was amazing and will be remembered for a long time by all of the conference attendees who were fortunate to be in the room,” stated NATE Trade Show Committee Chairman Joel Hightower of Hightower Communications, Inc. in LaGrange, North Carolina. “It was an honor to welcome an authentic American hero like Marcus Luttrell to NATE UNITE 2017,” added Hightower.
During the NATE UNITE 2017 Keynote Luncheon, T-Mobile also unveiled a video highlighting the carrier’s Military Honors and Support Community initiative that embraces the hiring of military veterans in the workplace. T-Mobile has a strong national track record of hiring employees with military backgrounds to work in the wireless industry.
On Feb. 28, FirstNet President TJ Kennedy was the featured speaker at the NATE UNITE 2017 Awards Luncheon. During his address, Kennedy provided an update on the status of FirstNet and highlighted the important role that tower contractors and infrastructure providers will play in the safe deployment of the nation’s first public safety broadband network.
TJ Kennedy was one of the first leaders to join the FirstNet team in July of 2013 and now serves as President of the organization. TJ is an experienced executive with a unique leadership background that includes technology expertise and coalition building as well as hands-on public safety experience in police, fire and emergency medical services. After starting his career in public safety, he advanced to senior-level positions in Fortune 500 companies.
“It was great having TJ Kennedy join us at NATE UNITE 2017 to update attendees on the next steps associated with the planning and future deployment of the FirstNet network,” said NATE Chairman Jim Tracy, CEO of Legacy Telecommunications, Inc. in Burley, Washington. “NATE members will be on the front lines helping deploy this transformative public safety broadband network and so TJ’s remarks were engaging and timely,” added Tracy.
For more updates on NATE UNITE 2017, visit www.natehome.com.