FCC Affirms Vanity Call Sign Rules
The FCC dismissed a petition filed by Richard Essen, N6CX (ex-AB3IQ), of Silver Spring, Maryland, regarding the issuance of a vanity call sign to Allan Corderman. In its decision, the FCC said that Corderman's application for his new call sign was valid and the call sign was "properly granted" by the FCC.
On December 22, 2006, Winfield Brantley of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, surrendered his call sign -- W3ZD --when the FCC approved his application for a new call sign. On December 10, 2008, Allan Corderman, WB1EFN, of New Orleans, Louisiana, applied for W3ZD, stating he was a close relative of a former holder of the call sign. Section 97.19(c)(3) of the FCC rules regarding vanity call signs state that while a surrendered call sign is not available to the vanity call sign system for two years, certain relatives of the deceased former holder or clubs (in certain circumstances) may apply for the call sign in the two year "grace period." Corderman stated in his application that he was the son of Roy C. Corderman, now deceased, and a former holder of W3ZD.
In January 2009, Richard Essen, N6CX (ex-AB3IQ), of Silver Spring, Maryland, petitioned the FCC, asking that the Commission reconsider Corderman's application for W3ZD, saying that the application should not have been granted because the exception in the vanity call sign system's rules apply only to close survivors of the most recent person to hold the call sign, and not to close relatives of any deceased prior holder.
The FCC disagreed with Essen's petition, saying that "[w]hen the Commission adopted Section 97.19(c)(3), it stated that it was granting priority to 'close relatives of deceased holders,' and did not say that the priority applied only to close relatives of certain deceased holders. The rule has always been interpreted to afford priority to close relatives of any deceased former holder."
According to Section 97.19(c)(3), "Except for an applicant who is the spouse, child, grandchild, stepchild, parent, grandparent, stepparent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, or in-law, and except for an applicant who is a club station license trustee acting with the written consent of at least one relative, as listed above, of a person now deceased, the call sign shown on the license of [a] person now deceased is not available to the vanity call sign system for 2 years following the person's death, or for 2 years following the expiration of the license grant, whichever is sooner."