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IARU Administrative Council Meeting Focuses on WRC-19 Preparation


The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Administrative Council (AC) held its annual face-to-face meeting September 8 – 9 in Seoul, Korea, immediately prior to the IARU Region 3 Conference. The AC is responsible for the policy and management of the IARU and consists of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organizations.

With International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) now little more than a year away, the efforts of two dozen IARU volunteers to defend Amateur Radio’s frequency allocations against commercial pressures and to seek worldwide harmonization of the 50 – 54 MHz band are reaching a critical stage. Coordination of the IARU team is ongoing during the run-up to the ITU Conference Preparatory Meeting in Geneva next February and WRC-19 itself in October and November. High on the list of concerns is what IARU called “the potential for crippling levels of interference to radiocommunications from high-power wireless power transfer (WPT) for electric vehicles.”

Given these challenges, the AC reviewed its strategic plan to develop support for amateur spectrum allocations and approved the action plan for the rest of 2018 and 2019. Delegates reviewed and adopted the IARU 2019 – 2021 budget, which depends upon anticipated financial contributions from the IARU International Secretariat and the three regional organizations. The AC agreed to maintain its modest annual financial support of the Beacon Project.

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, reported consensus on nominating incumbent President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, and Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, for additional terms. These nominations will be submitted to the IARU member-societies for ratification.

The growth of Amateur Radio — and especially how to attract young people — is a common concern of IARU member-societies. The AC will endeavor to identify barriers to growth that the IARU can assist member-societies in addressing and will encourage member-societies to share successful growth strategies.

The IARU policy on QSL bureaus has been under review for several years in light of escalating expenses and the problem of unwanted and undeliverable QSL cards as an environmental concern. Possible policy amendments are being developed for consideration.

Attending the meeting were IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; and Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ, along with regional representatives Don Beattie, G3BJ; Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T; Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM; Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK; Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN, and Peter Young, VK3MV. Observers included regional executive committee members Jay Bellows, K0QB, who is ARRL Vice President for International Affairs; Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP, and Don Wallace, ZL2TLL.

President Roderick and Bellows are also on hand for the 17th International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 3 Conference, hosted by the Korean Amateur Radio League (KARL). It continues until September 14 in Seoul, South Korea. ARRL is representing the interests of FCC-licensed radio amateurs in Region 3 living in various Pacific territories, including Guam and American Samoa.

KARL reported that to promote the hobby, an entry-level license (ELL) has been introduced as the fourth Amateur Radio license class in Korea. Obtaining this license requires participating in 8 hours of tutoring beginners in Amateur Radio. License holders will be allowed to operate on VHF/UHF bands with up to 10 W output.

CRAC reported that China’s Amateur Radio population is expanding steadily, with slightly more than 130,100 licensees and an estimated 80,000 active station licenses. The Chinese Class C license, held by only 626 individuals, is the highest license in China, permitting 1 kW on HF and 25 W above 30 MHz.

The conference report “Amateur Radio for Kids” by Julie Gonzales, VK3FOWL, and Joe Gonzales, VK3YSP, suggested that engaging youngsters at an early age in radio and electronics should be about more than recruiting or licensing. “It should be about genuinely inspiring in our children a natural curiosity and hands-on relationship with science and technology,” their report said.

Region 3 conference documents are available on the IARU Region 3 website.