ARRL

Appendix A: National Traffic System Terms of Reference

Appendix A: National Traffic System ™

  

Terms of Reference

The National Traffic System™

Terms of Reference provides official guidance to NTS officials above the section level -- such as Transcontinental Corps Directors, Area and Region Net Managers, Area Digital Coordinators, Digital Relay Stations and Area Staff Chairmen.

The name of the particular area staff -- Eastern, Central, or Pacific -- should be inserted in each blank in this document.

Article One: Name

The name of the organization shall be the _______ Area Staff. The _______ Area encompasses the _______ Regions of the National Traffic System.

Article Two: Purpose and General Functions

The purpose of the _______ Area Staff is to implement the mission of the National Traffic System above the section level in the _______ Area as prescribed in the NTS Manual. The National Traffic System provides an integrated network structure to promote accurate and efficient movement of message traffic from origin to destination as a public service, and to train a cadre of amateur radio operators to handle message traffic in an organized, coordinated network environment.

The functions of the _______ Area Staff are as follows:

1) Management of the daily operation of the Digital Relay Station, Transcontinental Corps (TCC), Area Net, and Region Net functions in the _______ Area in accordance with the policies and procedures prescribed in the NTS Manual.  Temporary deviations from the standards are coordinated with and approved by the Area Staff Chairman, in cooperation with other affected Areas.

2) Responsibility for administration of the National Traffic System at the Section level is vested in the office of the Section Manager, and under delegated authority of the Section Traffic Manager. The Area Staff shall cooperate with Section level officials to foster a harmonious relationship between the Section and higher levels of the System.

3) Study and make recommendations on System development issues. To meet this responsibility, the Staff may retain the services of expert advisors as Associate Members on an ad hoc basis. See Article Four: Membership. Recommendations for specific actions shall be delivered to the Chair for joint review and action by the three Area Staff Chairs and the Field Services and Radiosport Manager, as appropriate.

 

Article Three: Specific Responsibilities

TCC Directors:

1) Manage TCC scheduled functions. Select capable, experienced operators to the schedules assigned to related NTS cycles.

2) Maintain close association with the assigned TCC operators and with all other TCC Directors in the System. Represent the collective views of the operators to the Area Staff on questions involving NTS policies and procedures.

3) Provide leadership and work with other NTS Officials to establish additional schedules, links, hot lines, or gateways between Regions and Areas of the System when needed.

Area Digital Coordinators:

1) Establish digital communication standards for NTS applications in consultation with Digital Relay Station operators.

2) Integrate digital communications with other modes within the system.

3) Manage the Digital Relay Station roster within the area.

Area Net Managers:

1) Manage Net operation in general. Work with Region Net Managers for the provision of representatives from the Region Nets.

2) Maintain close association with Net appointees, and represent their collective views to the Area Staff on questions involving NTS policies and procedures.

Region Net Managers:

1) Manage Net operation in general. Select and train qualified net control stations. Select representatives to the Area Net. Work with Section-level officials for the provision of liaison stations from Section to Region Nets.

2) Maintain close association with Net appointees, and represent their collective views to the Area Staff on questions involving NTS policies and procedures.

All NTS Officials:

1)  All NTS Officials must be current ARRL members. 

2) Resolve Net, TCC function and Digital Relay Station problems in cooperation with the Area Staff Chairman and the Field Services and Radiosport Manager, as appropriate.

3) No action or recommendation of an Area Staff will usurp the broad prerogatives of individual TCC Directors, Area Digital Coordinators, Region and Area Net Managers in matters concerning the internal operation of the net, or function, except in those subject to review by the full Area Staff due to possible impact on the System external to the net.

4) Expand NTS capabilities, especially in the areas of system redundancy/ reliability and emergency/disaster communications.

5) Issue certificates to Net or function operators as required.

6) Report monthly on Net/function activity to ARRL Headquarters.

 

Article Four: Membership

All members and associate members shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the respective Area Staff Chairman.  The Area Staff Chairman may also, at any time, refuse to accept or cease to accept services from the volunteer for any reason or no reason.

 

The ________ Area Staff shall consist of the following Full Members with voting privileges:

1) TCC Directors.

2) Area Net Managers.

3) Region Net Managers.

4) Area Digital Coordinators. 

5) Members-at-Large.

6) The Area Staff Chair may appoint additional advisors as Associate Members on an ad hoc basis during studies of specific development issues. Associates do not hold Area Staff full membership status.

 

Article Five: Area Staff Chair

The Chairman shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the ARRL President, aligned and consistent with the manner by which other voluntary ARRL Chairmen and coordintors of regional or national scope are authorized.

The responsibilities of the Chair are as follows:

1)  The Chariman shall appoint each Area Staff member in his or her respective NTS Area. This includes TCC Directors, Area Net Managers, Region Net Managers, Area Digital Coordinators, Digital Relay Stations, Members at Large, and Associate Members on an ad hoc basis.

2) The Chairman shall hold full responsibility and authority for the management, control and direction of ________ Area Staff functions, in accordance with the policies and procedures specified in the NTS Manual.

3) The Chairman shall represent the _______ Area Staff during deliberations of the three Area Staff Chairmen.  When a matter involves a major published policy or procedure, or affects the operations of the other NTS Areas, the matter shall be addressed jointly by the three Area Staff Chairmen with recommendations to the Field Services and Radiosport Manager for appropriate action.

4) The Chairman shall notify the Field Services and Radiosport Manager of new appointments to the Staff.

5) The Chairman shall plan and conduct periodic staff meetings. Rules of conduct of meetings are specified by the Chairman.

6) The Chairman shall prepare and submit periodic reports concerning the activities and procedures of his or her staff.

 

Article Six: Methods and Procedures

Meetings

1) The Staff may meet periodically, informally, formally or on-the-air, to address Area Staff matters, problems and formulate policy recommendations to be submitted to the Area Staff Chairman. Provided there are sufficient matters requiring in-person consideration, and a specific agenda is established, the Area Staff Chairman may call an in-person meeting. (Travel and accommodation expenses may be borne by the ARRL provided a sufficient appropriation is allocated by the Board of Directors and is approved.)

 

General Procedures

2) The operations of the National Traffic System shall be conducted in accordance with the policies and procedures published in the NTS Manual.

3) Changes to the NTS Manual shall be recommended in writing to the three Area Staff Chairmen with subsequent recommendations forwarded to the Field Services and Radiosport Manager for action.

4) The three Area Staff Chairmen, and the additional staff members selected by each of the chairmen, shall serve as a standing committee of the National Traffic System to study and make recommendations to the three chairmen relating to current policies, standards and practices intended for the National Traffic System and third-party message traffic handling operations.

Staff Vacancies

6) In the event a staff position is to become vacant, the Chairman shall appoint a replacement.