for Operators & Licensees of Information Radio Stations
FCC Approves Enhanced Signal Coverage for 2 More Emergency
"Radio is vital...especially during emergencies," says new
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.
TIS Station Maintenance Checklist
newsletter, Feb 2017
ND Health Agency Deploys Resources to Protect the Public
from Winter's Wrath
Security Must Be Vigilant Inside and Out of Hospitals
Radio Continues to Dominate even Young Dashboards
newsletter, Jan 2017
Health Officials Prepare for Zika
Impact as Vaccine Enters Testing
response, Information Station Specialists developed portable
LED changeable message sign they can use for PODS, health
clinics and hospitals to inform and direct motorists, as
they approach and line up for treatment.
Weather Radio No Longer the
Emergency managers should monitor Weather Radio tests weekly
to verify that their equipment is properly receiving and
newsletter, Oct 2016
Herbert Hoover history becomes a
headliner on the Heartland Highway.
Pilot Patter Proves Particularly
Michigan airport lets motorists
listen to pilot/tower communications via vehicle radios.
newsletter, Sep 2016
Info Radio Station Assists Community during Blue Cut Fire
The community's emergency
advisory radio station on AM 1610 evacuated residents to the
west because routes to the east were ablaze.
Virginia DOT Upgrades HARs; Higher Quality Audio and
Range for Motorists
The first DOT to take advantage of
new FCC rules that allow the addition of audio processors to
Grainger Adds Emergency / Health Info Radio Station
to Online Catalog
IRiS is the first portable station that can be controlled
via cell modem.
newsletter, Aug 2016
AAIRO Files Comments with the FCC
In response to the FCC's recent
Notice of Inquiry about revitalization of the AM radio
service , specifically Paragraph 18, AAIRO in March filed
formal comments, then in April filed a
reply to comments by others.
Coastal Community Prepares
See how Harvey Cedars, an
island-bound community on the New Jersey shore, is cruisin'
for a bruisin' in the 2016 hurricane season.
Stations Runway Better
Airports are making sure that
they can reach the public promptly with important
information, especially in Cincinnati and Memphis.
New EAS Codes Coming
You may need to upgrade your
NOAA/NWS receivers and EAS equipment to recognize 3 new
newsletter, Jun 2016
National Park Service Installs 2 Info Stations in Hawaii
"Interpreting Rises and Falls,"
...sunrises and waterfalls, that is, using National
Arcola, IL, Attracts Visitors with Info Radio
"Why Not Arcola," I-57 stretches
from Chicago to Missouri - 386 miles. Sixty-six nearly
identical exits are offered; but Exit 203, at Arcola,
Illinois, works 24/7 to convince travelers to stop there.
newsletter, May 2016
Michigan DOT First with
High Quality HARs
When campus safety personnel
issue emergency text/email notices, they don't want
motorists scrambling to locate mobile phones while driving.
The University of Nevada, Reno, solves this problem by
broadcasting aural versions of emergency messages to all
vehicle radios within 5 miles of campus.
University Broadcasts Text Alerts
longest suspension bridge in this hemisphere now sports
Information Radio Stations (HAR) with the widest bandwidths
- a full 5000 Hz - another first for the Mighty Mackinac
Bridage and Michigan's DOT.
newsletter, Mar 2016
FCC Approves New TIS Improvements
Operators report dramatic differences in audio intelligibility and
overall quality. It's the first change in Information Radio (TIS)
technology since the service began, and it's a big one.
A Fair Question
South Florida Fair answers with special radio frequency for
"patron communication." When 500,000 people show up to your event,
how do you speak to them when something unexpectedly changes? The
South Florida Fair has a solution.
newsletter, Feb 2016
Blizzard broadcasts began before the blast.
Operators of Information Radio Stations in the East were on top of
events before the events were on top of them! Read stories of
stations that kept talking so severed lines of communication and
power wouldn’t leave communities in the cold.
It's a sign.
Imagine an ultra-portable changeable message sign (CMS)
that’s rechargeable and programs with a hand-held remote. Designed
for emergency health and other critical public safety applications,
it’s called “Lighting CMS” and is now available.
If they build more, will we come?
The FCC issues a Notice of Inquiry to ask us if they were
to allow more broadcast stations in the AM expanded band (1610-1700
kHz), will it be “revitalized?"
newsletter, Jan 2016
Safety agencies disseminate
incident info instantly with VoiceStar.
TIS Beauty Competition.
When is interference not really
Info radio frequencies continue
to be available almost everywhere except big cities.
newsletter, Dec 2015
"Fire in them Hills"
As alarmed residents streamed
away from the "Gibraltar Incident" wildfire on the California coast,
many also streamed updated evacuation instructions on their portable
devices...or received it on their radios from Montecito,
California's, Information Radio Station. Why is "StreamCasting"
becoming an invaluable tool for Emergency Managers?
FCC Blesses TISs
How have rule changes at the FCC
benefitted Emergency Managers who use Information Radio Stations
(TIS) to inform the public during crises? Included is a link to the
full IAEM Bulletin article on the topic.
High Quality Travelers Information Station (TIS)
transmitters are going on the air. Why is the audio bandwidth
increase of only 2000 Hz important?
newsletter, Nov 2015
FCC Approves "Mega-Sized"
The Avon Grove Regional Emergency
Management Group (AGREM) in Pennsylvania is arguably the first
entity to be granted a trio of waivers by the FCC, making its
pioneering request for relaxed restrictions a reality.
Wrong Day to Be in the
If you like photos of accidents and
train wrecks, you'll love these shots sent by readers of The Source,
showing TIS/HAR Radio Stations along roadways that were in the way
when vehicles suddenly needed to occupy the same physical space!
Is WRCR Wreaking Havoc?
Info Station licensees on 1690 and 1700 in the tri-state
area (NY/NJ/CT) are assessing how much interference their new
neighbor - WRCR AM 1700 - is causing them.
newsletter, Aug 2015
Radio Still #1 Local Info
Source for Motorists
Studies say, "Don't
tweet, text or post, if you want to reach people on the
Knowing Weather, It's
FCC rules for Travelers' Information Station
broadcasts remain cloudy.
The Source newsletter, Jun 2015
Parks Task TISs to Interpret & Inform
Across the fruited plain, TIS stations are going
on-air in the nation’s premier National Parks. Learn about
creative applications and the NPS TIS legacy, too.
Two New TIS Upgrades
FCC to allow new high quality filters on
Information Radio Stations beginning June 4th. Learn how to
make the upgrade. Your radio station can tell you when it is
“down”. Find out how to add this critical capability.
Tropical Hot Tub Heats Again; "El Niño" on the
With another El Niño spinning up, how to keep
public informed if it really goes south.
Source newsletter, May 2015
Quality & TIS Are No Longer Strangers
Information station (TIS/HAR) operators can now upgrade to
high quality (HQ) status, using a kit to be made available
soon. Learn more.
Another First for the Long Beach Grand Prix
How do you inform more than 200,000 attendees and local
residents during a premier racing event that re-routes
entire city streets for nearly a week? Long Beach,
California, has a winning recipe that includes a special
radio frequency and changeable message signs.
Hudson County, NJ, Acquires Surprising Ally in Quest
for 100W Station
First-of-its-kind agreement between a TIS licensee and a
broadcast station could result in the County being allowed
to run its station at 10X power. What happens next?
Source newsletter, Apr 2015
Communities Bring Back Local Radio
Cities have begun installing their own TIS radio stations to
keep residents informed.
Pennsylvania Agency Asks to Boost Antenna Height &
Historic Change Allows Licensees to Broadcast Higher
Bandwidth Audio without Recertifying
The Source newsletter, Mar 2015
Broadcasts Buffer the Blast
New England towns maintain constant contact with
citizens by radio, even as snow stacks up and power goes
The Source newsletter, Feb 2015
Public Health Employs Portable Emergency Advisory Radio
For student lock-downs.
FCC Ruling Rankles NY
Top-of-Bank Travelers Information Stations.
The Source newsletter, Dec 2014
In-Vehicle Radio Ranks Well Compared with Cell Phones
A new study shows that radio presents one of the least
distracting means of getting messages in front of drivers.
The Source newsletter, Oct 2014
Turnpike Hosts Info Radio for New Flight 93 Memorial
The National Park Service uses trusty Travelers Information
Stations on the Pennsylvania Turnpike to help motorists find
the new Flight 93 Memorial crash site in remote
Transportation Corridor Broadcasts Toll Info
Via Highway Advisory Radio, California's Orange County now
tells motorists without toll accounts how to pay.
but 'When?' Ebola and ISIS Threats Prompt Public Health and
Sep 2014: As terrorizations loom, hundreds of communities
with emergency advisory radio stations prepare to use them
The Source newsletter, Sep 2014
CA Flames; Radio Route Tahoe-Area Residents away from
Massive King Fire
Sep 2014: The North Tahoe Fire Protection District employs 3
portable emergency advisory radio stations to allay fear and
California Quake & Flood Test Info Radio
In one hour on Aug 3, almost 5 inches of rain fell on
California mountain town Mount Baldy. Firefighter Robert
Strickland deployed his RadioSTAT portable station to assist
the public. On August 24, the 6.0 South Napa Earthquake
struck the San Francisco Bay area. Dozens of communities
employed Information Radio Stations.
The Source newsletter, Aug 2014
Towns in the Crosshairs; Shoreline Communities Add, Replace
& Upgrade Information Radio Station in Preparation for the
From northern Maine to south Texas, dozens of
communities are adding, upgrading and replacing their
Emergency Advisory Radio Systems in anticipation of the 2014
hurricane and flood season.
The Source newsletter, Jun 2015
Marcos Guides Motorists "Out of Harm's Way" with RadioSTAT
during May Wildfire Evacuation
The Cocos Fire that broke out May 14th forced
thousands to evacuate and destroyed 36 homes in the busy San
Marcos community south of Los Angeles. Aiding in the
evacuation was the City's RadioSTAT Portable Emergency
Broadcast Station. Scott Hansen of the Fire Department
stated that the system “worked great”; and City Council
members praised the Department’s response efforts.
The Source newsletter, May 2015
Naperville Kicks Their 1990's Information Stations into the
Chicagoland's Naperville − the first city in our
Nation to operate multiple synchronized Information Radio
stations − is making more efficient its service by replacing
'old school' aspects of the original system with
cost-effective, newer capabilities. Coordinator Dan Nelson
explains the City's rationale this way: "We seek the best
quality and most diverse means of keeping our citizens
informed, and Information Radio is a good way to do that,
especially should other means of communication be
compromised." Numerous other licensees are following suit.
The Source newsletter, Apr 2014
Watts Wanted; Hudson County NJ Cites High Noise Levels &
Special Location in 100-Watt Request to FCC
Hudson County New Jersey’s Office of Emergency
Management recently petitioned the FCC for a waiver to
operate their Information Station at 100 watts instead of
the FCC-maximum 10 watts with the standard field
limitations. The FCC turned the application down in
February, stating that the County had failed to make its
case. Now, the County is back, appealing the denial.
Source newsletter, Mar 2014
and Snow Fall, the Value of Info Radio Rises
Hundreds of thousands of residents have been
without power and safe transportation amid the perpetual
parade of precipitation that has characterized the winter of
2014. Those in communities with information radio stations
at least were not out of touch. Reports of stations
transmitting critical safety messages throughout the storms
abound. Read more, along with the latest news.
Source newsletter, Feb 2014
Reaching Residents; HOAs and CDDs Turn to Micro Radio
See how Information Radio is making its way deeper
and deeper into communities via HOAs, CDDs and other
grassroots efforts to help ensure that property owners have
as much time and pertinent information as possible to
prepare for disasters and stay in touch with local
circumstances. Collaboration with local governments on
funding and FCC licensing not only moves such projects
forward but also builds community.
Is Bad News
New York's national weather radio station
disappeared, reappeared, then disappeared again – just in
time for a snow storm.
Source newsletter, Jan 2014
Information Stations on
the Big Stage; APCO Details New TIS Rule Changes in
The Association of Public-Safety
Communications Officials (APCO), in a widely read
article, recently explained the implications of
certain FCC TIS rule changes, in particular, the
increasing role of Information Radio for local
emergency management. AAIRO's efforts were
APCO article, Dec 2013
Society of Broadcast
Engineers (SBE) Comments on TIS Filters Proposed by
the FCC- AAIRO Responds - NAB Offers a TIS-Friendly
comments filed with the FCC during September, the SBE announced it is squarely at odds with the
Commission’s current rulemaking effort that would
result in elimination of audio filters on TIS
transmitters. Removal, says the SBE, would
“contribute to the inability of AM broadcasters to
compete in the radio marketplace.” 3-kHz filters
were built into the design of the transmitters in
the 1970s, when it was believed that the 10-watt
stations could interfere with local broadcasters if
their bandwidth was not limited. AAIRO filed a reply
(right), stating that the current erosion of AM
listening would not be hastened by making TIS
stations more intelligible. Quite the opposite. The
vitality of the TIS service actually has the
potential to attract listeners back to the AM band
to receive helpful travel advisories and emergency
information when a disaster strikes. That will not
happen if TIS stations are difficult to understand.
The Nation Association of Broadcasters filed in FCC
docket 098-19 a comment that takes the position
that, in general, filters should not be removed from
TIS transmitters, proposing instead a widening of
filters from 3 kHz to 5 kHz – possibly a winning
... AAIRO's comments
... AAIRO's Reply to SBE
... AAIRO's Reply to NAB
Why Most Public Safety
Agencies Are Wary of Low Power FM
With the filing window approaching for Low Power FM
Radio Stations (LPFM), The Source fields questions
regarding FM - is it a better band to be on than AM:
a quick-list of points that illustrate why most
public safety agencies don’t want it.
The Source newsletter, Sep 2013
Mount Rainier, 1st
National Park to Add Networked Info Radio Stations
news when a National Park boasts multiple
Information Radio Stations (TIS) that deliver
special messages to visitors in multiple locations.
It is news, however, when the broadcast messages on
the radio stations are seamlessly managed across a
Low Power FM: It Gets Worse
Agencies Add More Reasons Why LPFM is
The Source newsletter, Oct 2013
Historic Revision of TIS
Rules Meets Broad Approval with Emergency Managers,
US, public safety officials are applauding the FCC’s
proposed new rules and attendant clarifications
contained in the Report & Order released in July. A
comment period is underway right now. AAIRO
encourages all interested public safety officials to
submit a comment letter to the Association for
filing..August 2013: Across the US, public safety
officials are applauding the FCC’s proposed new
rules and attendant clarifications contained in the
Report & Order released in July. A comment period is
underway right now. AAIRO encourages all interested
public safety officials to submit a comment letter
to the Association for filing..
Source newsletter, Aug 2013
Rules Benefit Public Safety; More Operator
Discretion, Emergency Content, Technical
The FCC has
finally released a long-awaited Report & Order to
“clarify and amend" TIS rules. This is in direct
response to petitions and comments sent to the
Commission during the last four years. During the
Report & Order's official comment period (likely the
month of August), we urge the public safety
community (in particular) to support needed changes
by sending emails/letters to us that will be
collated and filed with our own on Docket PS 09-19.
The goal: Encourage the Commission to finalize the
effort without delay.
Manager Await New Rules for Critical TIS Service"
by Michellle Zilis
RadioResourceMedia Group published an article on
AAIRO's efforts and stance for FCC updates to TIS
rules. AAIRO president Bill Baker is interviewed..
The Source newsletter, Jun 2013
AAIRO -- >>
When Push Comes
to convince the FCC to improve the rules for the
Travelers Information Service is approaching an end
– we hope.
But we really need your assistance in “shoving” the
FCC so we can complete the effort. Please read:
We were just told by our Counsel in Washington DC
last week thatSuperStormSuperStorm Sandyhas given
the FCC the object lesson it needs to realize the
value of Information Radio to communities,
especially when other means of communication are
off-line. The new rules in section 90.242 are
expected to reflect this. But convincing them to
finalize the rules and issue the order to establish
them is another matter. That would seem like the
easy part, but there apparently is little incentive
for the FCC to move on public safety issues unless
it receives a “push” from the outside in the form of
letters, meetings and the like..has given the FCC
the object lesson it needs to realize the value of
Information Radio to communities, especially when
other means of communication are off-line. The new
rules in section 90.242 are expected to reflect
this. But convincing them to finalize the rules and
issue the order to establish them is another matter.
That would seem like the easy part, but there
apparently is little incentive for the FCC to move
on public safety issues unless it receives a “push”
from the outside in the form of letters, meetings
and the like.
We are now into our 4th year of “pushing.”
So far, the funding for the Petition for Rulemaking
has entirely come from the Information Station
Specialists and associated manufacturing firms. But
now, with coffers running low, we are asking if you
will help with the final “shove” needed to get
across the finish line. The funds collected will pay
for the attorney fees and travel expenses to
coordinate the in-person meetings with the
Commissioners’ staffs. The necessity is to encourage
them to request the new rules come to a vote soon
and to make sure the content of the new rules
benefits public safety to the greatest degree
Send us an email (upper right) and pledge an amount
that would be willing to contribute? (If you work
for a governmental agency, we understand that the
agency may not be able to help, but perhaps you can
assist at the personal level.) We will follow up
with you later to do the details..
Since we want to honor all contributors, and since
the rule section we are addressing is “FCC Rule
…if you can help with a contribution of exactly
$90.24., AAIRO will show our sincere appreciation to
you, your agency /company by listing you with
co-contributors on the AAIRO website. The math says
that if every AAIRO member contributed $90.24, AAIRO
will be able to proceed with confidence into the
final discussions with the FCC.
When it’s all said and done, you will know that you
have directly contributed to a demonstrable effort
to improve public policy and positively affect the
safety of all Americans.
NOTE: To shove even harder, why not contribute a
multiple of “$90.24’s”? Help us “shove” the FCC good
Two times $90.24 =$180.488br class="auto-style2" />
Three times $90.24 =$270.722
Four times $90.24 =$360.966
XX times $90.24 =$[X times 90.24]
FCC Update - the
Word is that the FCC, at last, is moving the
Information Station (TIS) Rulemaking effort up to
the Chairman’s office for a vote of the
commissioners. We all hope this will result in new
rules that enhance a station’s ability to protect
public safety and lives..January 2013 – Word is that
the FCC, at last, is moving the Information Station
(TIS) Rulemaking effort up to the Chairman’s office
for a vote of the commissioners. We all hope this
will result in new rules that enhance a station’s
ability to protect public safety and lives.
AAIRO’s counsel in Washington advises that as they
consider the final language of the new rules,
letters from communities affected byy
SuperstormmSandy will be effective, immediate
illustrations to the FCC of the value of these
stations, especially when other means of
communications are offline. I hope you will take a
moment to review the attached letters (linked right)
from New Jersey and California cities to the
We would like to have your expression of support for
this effort.. /span>
a letter of
support or just a written paragraph that we can
place into a multi-community document that we are
Thanks, in advance, for your support for this
Fires: Info Stations Prove Invaluable in California
December 2012 – Two
wildfires in three weeks test the Santa Barbara
area. Information Radio Stations played a key role
in protecting and informing affected
residents..December 2012 – Two wildfires in three
weeks test the Santa Barbara area. Information Radio
Stations played a key role in protecting and
informing affected residents.
Success Stories for the FCC Vote on AAIRO's Petition
November 2012 –
The FCC is due to vote on the
AAIRO Petition in
the very near future. Counsel believes that, due to
the hurricane, the issue is ripe for further
discussion and has asked communities who can make
the argument that the service had/has unique value
before-during-after the event to send them
indication that . . ..the very near future. Counsel
believes that, due to the hurricane, the issue is
ripe for further discussion and has asked
communities who can make the argument that the
service had/has unique value before-during-after the
event to send them indication that . . .
The station was the single info source for the
community due to other services (cell, internet,
etc.) being down..
- The station delivered
- The station ran
throughout the storm due to its battery
and/or hurricane-wind-rated antenna/support
structure (Vertical Profile Antenna System").
The service could be
enhanced by the clarification of the rules in
90.242 to clearly indicate that the following
two things are allowable at all times:
- Weather forecasts
and conditions information, including
rebroadcasts of the info stream from the
NOAA/NWS Weather Radio network.
regarding preparations citizens can make
before the disaster that can mitigatee loss
of life and property.
Weather-Related Emergency story
Sandy: Info Radio Plays Key Role during Hurricane
MANASQUAN, NJ: When Hurricane Sandy slammed ashore
in Manasquan, NJ, 90-MPH winds pushed a wall of
water into the city, causing massive flooding.
Emergency Manager Chris Tucker tapped his
Information Radio Station on AM 1620 to be the
solitary source to keep residents apprised, with the
anticipation that “data and internet connections
might be compromised.” They were. Additionally, his
station’s antenna system encountered enormous winds
and was engulfed by 3 feet of storm surge. It kept
working. The station’s battery backup – occasionally
charged via generator – powered the station
continuously through the storm. 80 miles down the
shore near Sandy’s landfall, the Police Chief Robert Matteucci of North Wildwood, NJ, utilized his 1640
signal in an effort to preserve life and property.
The broadcast, which was simulcast to the Internet,
advised residents to heed mandatory evacuation
orders and provided the emergency numbers for
electric and gas companies. A message from the
community’s emergency management team, mayor and
police chief stated that Sandy “may be the worst
storm ever to hit the shore of New Jersey.”
Manasquan’s and North Wildwood’s Information Radio
Stations comprise but two of the dozens of such
stations installed to protect citizens in coastal
communities of New Jersey and surrounding states.
The Source newsletter, Oct 2012
October 2012 –
Lexington, KY; North Wildwood, NJ; and Missouri
City, TX: Information radio stations increasingly
simulcast on the Internet. See what three AAIRO
members have to say about streaming their
Let us know if you
would like to share station operation ideas with
Radio Rules Coming Soon
October 2012 –
Washington, DC: Counsel in Washington DC informed AAIRO (The American Association of Information Radio
Operators) on Friday (10/5) that action on the AAIRO
Petition for Rulemaking may be coming soon. The
Petition asked the FCC to clarify broadcast content
and certain technical requirements contained in FCC
Rules Part 90 that govern the Information Station
(TIS) service. According to contacts in the FCC's
Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau, the draft
Report & Order (R&O) will be ready for submission to
the Chairman's office in early November. Assuming
there are no revisions ordered by the Chairman, the
Report & Order containing new Information Station
rules will be presented to the five commissioners
for voting soon thereafter. If three of the five
commissioners vote to approve, the new rules will
likely take effect this winter.
Bridge of the Americas
Crosses the Line: DHS/CBP Adding More Info Radio
Stations on US/Mexican Ports of Entry
October 2012 –
Washington, DC: Results of a pilot survey conducted
by CBP indicate considerable favorability for the
radio stations and agreement that they have special
value as a tool to gauge 'wait' times.
August 2011 – Emergency radio messages
related to Hurricane Irene were provided to AAIRO
members by Information Station Specialists at no
charge. The first such messages was broadcast in a
New Jersey community. Turnaround time was immediate.
Messages were recorded as audio files and sent to
requesters by email or via telephone.
... learn about this free service
August 2011 – AAIRO received the below
response from the National Weather Service with
regard to NOAA Weather Radio not carrying the
national EAS test on November 9, 2011.
From: Herbert White [mailto:Herbert.White@noaa.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 11:13 AM
To: Bill Baker
Cc: Mike Gerber
Subject: Re: National EAS Test not to include NOAA
NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) stations will not carry the
national EAS test in November 2011. NWS and FEMA are
working on improvements that include NWS receiving
the national audio message and broadcasting it over
the NWR network. During the national EAS test, NWS
will demonstrate the interfaces for receiving and
capturing EAN live-code and audio messages.
NWR Improvement Project Phase II will be installed
in the NWS Telecommunications Operations Center and
at NWS offices nationwide through 2012. After those
improvements are complete, NWS will install updates
which include capability to broadcast the EAN live
code and audio over all NWR stations nationwide as
provided by FEMA.
I apologize for delay in responding. Please let me
know if you have any further questions.
Dissemination Services Manager
NOAA National Weather Service
August 2011 – there is no action to report
regarding an FCC response following their Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the Information Radio
(TIS) Service. AAIRO will keep you in the loop when
a ruling is received. Note that it is not too late
for your congressman to write the FCC about the
issue. See links (right) to a letter written by New
Jersey Representative Albio Sires and the FCC's
... Sires Letter to FCC
... FCC Response
August 2011 – As we await the FCC's action
regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, various
licensees have responded to statements made by
parties in the docket. See illustrative letters
(linked right) from AAIRO members who have taken
issue with the assertion that licensees are not
prepared to deal with emergencies.
... Fort Bend Letter
... Ford Airport Letter
August 2011 – AAIRO.org has expanded to
include a spot for case studies from members. Share
your story to help other operators see how you use
your Information Radio Station. Email your
submission to the webmaster for assistance in
posting to AAIRO.org. Be sure to include a photo or
two if possible. See the submissions to date (right)
from North Plainfield Borough and Los Alamos County.
... Case Studies
So you can see who else belongs to AAIRO, we
have reinstated our online member list. It includes
only agency and individual names and the states you
reside in. Please let us know if you'd like to reach
any of the members directly (email on the footer of
each AAIRO webpage). We will be glad to help.
... AAIRO Members
March 2011 – It's been in the news recently
that the FCC will soon mandate a change for EAS
(Emergency Alert System) receivers, which standard
radio and TV stations use to receive hazard alerts
from the government. Because the NOAA National
Weather Radio is part of that EAS network, AAIRO
operators might wonder if and how NOAA Weather Radio
Receivers will work after the changeover. The
answer: quite well. New CAP regulations mandate
backward-compliance with all devices functioning
currently within the EAS network – including NOAA
Weather Radio Receivers and Specific Area Message
Encoding circuitry. When NOAA receives an alert from
the government, it will be converted into a format
currently sent to receivers. And, of course, watches
and warnings NOAA sends will be in the same
(current) format. As a result, there is nothing
operators need do to bring systems up to compliance.
March 2011 – In a lengthy, illustrated
article entitled "FCC Eyes Expanding Role of TIS," RadioWorld offers an overview of all the FCC is
considering for Part 90 rules changes. See the
article in its entirety (linked left).
... RW article
March 2011 – Congress is the Government's
primary check-and-balance on the Federal
Communications Commission, so it's meaningful
whenever Congress people get involved in FCC
matters. Linked right, Michigan Representative Bill
Huizenga expresses concern regarding TIS rules now
being decided, a good example to share with your
... Huizenga letter
February 2011 – AAIRO's attorneys recently
filed a response to the FCC's newest Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking (Docket 09-19), regarding the
Travelers Information Service. The purpose of the
effort is to at long last clarify and update FCC
Part 90.242 Rules that govern the service, as well
as to reconcile the originating Report and Order
with the rules and to clear up inconsistencies
within both. This is the first time the 1977 rules
have been updated.
... FCC Call for Comment
... Aurora letter
... Auburn letter
January 2011 -- Our December email to voting
members achieved the needed quorum re-elect AAIRO's
founding Board of Directors. Thanks to all who
... Board Members
August 2010 – Dick Burden, one of the
founding fathers of TIS, recently joined AAIRO to
further serve his field. A Society of Broadcast
Engineers "Fellow" and Life-Time Achievement Award
recipient, Burden's professional experiences and
affiliations cover the gamut – from Armed Forces and
LAX Airport Radio to serving many field-related
organizations. Dick has been honored by the Audio
Engineering Society as one of only 25 engineers
internationally, who during a 50-year period made
significant contributions to the art and science of
audio. AAIRO is pleased to welcome Dick Burden as a
member, ally, advocate and educator. For knowledge
August 2010 – News from the halls of the FCC
regarding content petitions: An internal source tell AAIRO that the FCC is circulating a NOPR (notice of
proposed rulemaking) among the commissioners
regarding new content guidelines for information
radio stations (TIS) as well as a separate order
regarding the same. The latter may be a direct
result of AAIRO's petition and should be expected
soon. Watch your email and this website for the
Members' Names Removed from AAIRO Website
January 2010 – To preserve confidentiality, members'
names and affiliations have been removed from
AAIRO's website. Please contact the system
administrator (right), if you wish to reach AAIRO
members or if your member info should be updated.
December 2009 – In a virtual (online)
election held via email a quorum was reach, and AAIRO members re-elected the founding board of
directors for another term.
Momentum Builds for FCC Action on AAIRO's Petition
November 2009 – The FCC has not yet acted on AAIRO's
petition. Linked (right) is a recent example to use
with your own Congress persons to motivate them to
write the FCC about AAIRO's petition. Senator Tom
Harkin is a heavy hitter. This type of Congressional
pressure could help move the FCC forward.
... AAIRO Directors
November 2009 – The FCC has not yet acted on AAIRO's petition. Linked (right) is a recent example
to use with your own Congress persons to motivate
them to write the FCC about AAIRO's petition.
Senator Tom Harkin is a heavy hitter. This type of
Congressional pressure could help move the FCC
... Senator's Letter
October 2009 – President Obama on October 23
declared a national emergency due to the H1N1 virus.
This is a reminder that FCC Rules Part 90.405 allow
any station licensed under part 90 (TIS Information
Radio Stations are licensed under FCC Part 90.242)
to broadcast information intended to protect life
and property when danger is imminent. See the rule
section and reference below.
"PART 90 PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICES
Subpart N Operating Requirements
Sec. 90.405 Permissible Communications
"(a) Stations licensed under this part may transmit
only the following types of communication:
"(1) ANY COMMUNICATION RELATED DIRECTLY TO THE
IMMINENT SAFETY OF LIFE OR PROPERTY;
"(2) Communications directly related and necessary
to those activities which make the licensee eligible
for the station license held under this part. In
addition, when communication service is provided
under the cooperative sharing provisions of Sec.
90.179, the licensee providing such service may
transmit communications related to the
activities for which the parties receiving the
service would be eligible to be licensed.
"(3) Communications for testing purposes required
for proper station and system maintenance. However,
each licensee shall keep such tests to a minimum and
shall employ every measure to avoid harmful
"(b) The provisions contained in paragraph (a) of
this section do not apply where a single base
station licensee has been authorized to use a
channel above 470 MHz on an exclusive basis, or to
stations licensed under this part that are
classified as CMRS providers under part 20 of this
[50 FR 6182, Feb. 14, 1985, as amended at 59 FR
59965, Nov. 21, 1994]
... White House Release
September 2009 – Value added to AAIRO
membership could include sharing background about
existing information radio stations. Has anything
been published about your station? Is there a good
description of how your station came to be and is
now managed? If so, please share it by submitting an
electronic copy via the email link (right) for
archiving at AAIRO's website.
... Email AAIRO
September 2009 – AAIRO members can now obtain
free professional message recording services, long
term, for general "nonevent-related" broadcasts.
Whether you are already an AAIRO member or just
joining, check to see if your radio station vendor
is participating in the deal.
July 2009 – Congressman Pete Hoekstra of
Michigan and Lieutenant Paul Haggerty of the
Lyndhurst, New Jersey, Fire Department this month
sent letters to the FCC requesting a ruling on AAIRO's petition. Hoekstra's office mentioned being
baffled at the uncontroversial nature of AAIRO's
petition and why there has been no ruling to date.
So are we. You can help. Read their letters (right)
as examples of one you could send to represent your
agency. Mail the letter to Bruce Liang Gottlieb,
Chief Counsel and Senior Legal Advisor, FCC, Office
of the Chairman, 445 12th Street SW Rm 8-B201,
Washington, DC 20554 with the subject line: "AAIRO
Petition for Ruling PS Docket 09-19." And please
send a copy of your letter electronically to AAIRO
so we can file it electronically in the FCC docket
as well. Another idea from AAIRO Director Mike
Williams is to download the letters (right) and pass
them along to your local Congress people and
community leaders for their follow up.
... Congressman's Letter
... Lyndhurst NJ Letter
... Other Filings
July 2009 – Recently one of the larger
Departments of Transportation in the US was advised
by the FCC that broadcasting tones in their Highway
Advisory Radio (HAR) messages to turn flashing signs
on or off is not legal per FCC Part 90.242(a)(7)
Rules, which state "HAR messages shall be
voice-only." Alternative means of turning HAR signs
on and off are via paging (flex or POCSAG), UHF/VHF
two-way radio and low-band VHF radio.
July 2009 – Chairman Genachowski selects
retired Navy admiral Jamie Barnett to lead the FCC’s
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. "I am
delighted that Admiral Barnett, with his broad and
deep experience with public safety issues and
familiarity with the concerns of state and local
governments, will be joining the agency," said FCC
Chairman Julius Genachowski. This could bode well
for getting AAIRO's petition approved; because the
Navy uses TIS radios (licensed via NTIA) at many
locations in the US, i.e., Oregon Coast, Great Lakes
Base near Chicago, Indian Point Naval Surface
Warfare Base near Washington DC. AAIRO attorneys
will be in touch with Barnett.
... Email Request for Flash-Controller Ideas
June 2009 – County health official Steve
Johnston uses portable advisory radio and temporary
roll-out signs to broadcast instructions to
motorists entering the health department's parking
lot for specimen collections prescribed by local
doctors. Johnston herein recounts the County's
innovative use of TIS: “We got a chance to deploy
our portable advisory station during the swine flu
event. The first couple of days, we had received
requests from physicians to test patients for the
swine flu. We were concerned about bringing them
[inflected people] into our building to collect
specimens. With a concern for social distancing and
to keep potential cases from infecting others, we
decided to have citizens drive into our parking lot.
Specimens were taken from them, while they were in
their cars. To facilitate the process, our portable
AM radio station [in a case and carrying bags] was
deployed along with the information signs. When
patients drove into our lot, they were instructed to
tune their radios to 850 AM. They received all the
information on the process and how they were to
interact with our [public health] staff. This
eliminated personnel from talking to each driver and
exposing him/herself to a potential swine flu
virus.” In November, the County plans to use
RadioSTAT for drive-through clinics and bilingual
... Email Johnston
June 2009 – AAIRO submits to the FCC a reply
to comments National Public Radio (NPR) filed on
AASHTO's petition (below). AAIRO board members want
to allay misunderstanding and emphasize the need for
expedient FCC resolution in the form of simple
clarification that TIS operators may broadcast
emergency messages, such as, AMBER Alerts.
Additional rule-making, they remarked, is
unnecessary, based on original TIS tenets in Part 90
Rules, and would likely slow FCC response time.
May 2009 – The
Daily, a national newsletter, publishes an
overview of TIS Rule changes/clarifications
requested by several professional agencies for
emergency broadcasts. AAIRO appears in a positive
light, and the need for a hasty FCC response is
mentioned – good news if FCC personnel regularly
read the pub, as believed.
April 2009: FCC issues a public notice
soliciting comments on a petition from the American
Association of State Highway Transportation
Officials. Essentially, AASHTO's petition requests
the FCC to change Part 90 TIS Rules to specify that
Travelers Information Stations may broadcast AMBER
alerts, along with a request, too, for broadcasting
the availability of 511 telephone services. (In
response, AAIRO's Board of Directors submitted a
formal recommendation that "clarification" of about
AMBER alerts is preferable to a (slower)
"rule-change" procedure. The Board reminded the FCC
that AMBER alerts were mentioned in AAIRO's own
petition for clarification submitted last Fall. The
Board implored the FCC to respond to that petition,
because community-based operators across the country
still are waiting.)
... Public Notice
... AASHTO Petition
... AAIRO Comments
March 2009 – Hear an educational history
(right) aired by KZSB Santa Barbara early in 2009
about Travelers Information Stations, with technical
background and examples of how these specific-area
radio stations are used today for emergency
... Broadcast Audio
March 2009 – FCC publishes a Public Notice
for public comment on AAIRO's petition. (The initial
comment period ended March 16; and the
reply/rebuttal period ended March 30, 2009.)
Essentially, AAIRO's Petition asks the FCC to
clarify Travelers Information Radio Stations Part 90
Rules to specify public safety use by officials
licensed to operate the stations.
... AAIRO Petition
November 2008 – FCC grants Hudson County, New
Jersey, a waiver to broadcast on 1710 AM due to the
importance of the station. The grant states, "We
find persuasive Hudson's argument that granting its
requested waiver relief would serve the public
interest by promoting important public safety
objectives." It's good to know the FCC acknowledges
the value of Travelers Information Stations for
emergency communication. (Hudson County requested
permission to use 1710 AM due to interference [from
commercial stations nearby] on regular TIS channels.
Though a waiver is needed for anyone to operate on
1710 AM, the grant's language implies the emergency
value of all TISs.)
September 2008 – AAIRO submits to the FCC a
"Petition for Ruling" of Part 90 TIS Rules,
requesting clarification that relates to preventive
... AAIRO Petition
September 2008 – Lynhurst, New Jersey, and
Clearfield, Utah, (among other communities) write
letters of support for AAIRO's petition (described
above). Also, IAEM endorses AAIRO's petition, adding
roughly 4,000 voices to the request to clarify the
public safety role TIS stations play every day in
communities across the United States.
... NJ Letter
... ut letter
... IAEM Letter
August 2008 – Association of Public-Safety
Communications Officials-International (APCO)
submits a letter of support to the FCC for AAIRO's
petition. APCO has more than 15,000 members. IAEM
Tells Emergency Managers about AAIRO
July 2008 – "IAEM Bulletin" introduces AAIRO to the
International Association of Emergency Managers'
membership. Their "The Power of 10 Watts to Protect
Millions" article is linked by permission
... APCO Support Letter
July 2008 – "IAEM Bulletin" introduces AAIRO
to the International Association of Emergency
Managers' membership. Their "The Power of 10 Watts
to Protect Millions" article is linked by permission