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IARU Administrative Council Stresses Importance of Antenna Systems for Amateur Radio


The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Administrative Council (AC) has adopted a resolution calling on IARU member societies to encourage governments to recognize the importance of the Amateur Radio Service and of Amateur Radio antennas. The AC met for its 38th meeting on October 9 and 10 in Bali, Indonesia, in conjunction with the IARU Region 3 Conference there.

The antenna resolution also called on member societies “to advocate for planning and development regulations that properly recognize the importance of an Amateur Radio antenna and do not place undue restrictions on the erection of antennas.” It also urged member societies to discourage the imposition of any fees related to ham antennas, “particularly in view of the non-pecuniary nature of Amateur Radio and its popularity in the student and senior communities.”

The AC completed its preparations to represent Amateur Radio at World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15), which will take place during November in Geneva. The AC reviewed IARU positions and strategies for each WRC-15 agenda item that may affect ham radio. These included proposals for a secondary amateur allocation near 5.3 MHz. The Council also looked ahead to agenda items for the next WRC, which is anticipated for 2019. These would include an amateur allocation at 50 MHz in Region 1 (Europe and Africa) and “global harmonization” of the 1800-2000 kHz allocation. “It is anticipated that a significant effort by IARU will be needed in preparation for WRC-19 to defend the amateur allocations between 137 and 960 MHz, in light of the pressure for spectrum for small, non-amateur satellites,” the AC said in a statement. “Close coordination of regional efforts will be required.”

In a related vein, the growing demand for the coordination of satellites in Amateur Radio allocations led the Council to revise the terms of reference for the IARU Satellite Adviser and to agree in principle to new guidelines for satellite coordination. The Council has appointed a Deputy Satellite Adviser to help handle the workload.

The AC also agreed that “a more proactive approach” to international standards bodies is needed in order to achieve the IARU’s objective of reducing “spectrum pollution from unwanted radio frequency emissions.”

IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, updated the Council on the actions of the Board of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) “Smart Sustainable Development Model.” The IARU is a founding member. The Board’s recently released final report contains numerous references to Amateur Radio and the role it plays in emergency communication.

In a departure from its practice of recent years, the Council adopted a continuing theme for World Amateur Radio Day each April — “Celebrating Amateur Radio’s Contribution to Society.” The Council could adopt a special theme in any given year, if appropriate.

In other actions, the IARU Administrative Council:

  • Will draft possible revisions to the IARU Constitution and Bylaws to introduce “some degree of flexibility in dealing with ‘second societies.’”
  • Received the International Beacon Project report, which included some thoughts on how the beacon system might be combined with other means of assessing propagation in real time. The AC will consider the implications of recent technological advances.
  • Formulated and agreed to a plan to collect consistent Amateur Radio licensing data from member societies.
  • Discussed the environmental impact and burden on the international QSL Bureau system of unsolicited and unwanted QSL cards and plans to revisit the issue at a future meeting.

The IARU Administrative Council will hold a “virtual meeting” in early 2016. The next in-person meeting will take place in Chile in October 2016, in conjunction with the IARU Region 2 Conference.




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