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IARU Officials Attend Region 3 Conference in New Zealand

10/18/2009

Hosted by the New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters (NZART), officials from the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) -- IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, and Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, along with Region 1 President Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, Region 1 Secretary Dennis Green, ZS4BS, and Region 2 Secretary Ramon Santoyo, XE1KK -- attended the IARU Region 3 14th Triennial Conference on October12-16, in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Delegates from 10 Member-Societies -- ARRL (USA), ARSI (India), CRSA (China), HARTS (Hong Kong), JARL (Japan), KARL (Republic of Korea), NZART (New Zealand), ORARI (Indonesia), SARTS (Singapore) and WIA (Australia) were present in Christchurch. Three Member-Societies -- RAST (Thailand), RSGB (Great Britain) and VARC (Vietnam) -- were represented by proxy. Joel Harrison, W5ZN, ARRL President, represented the ARRL. ARRL Chief Executive Officer and former IARU Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ, was also in attendance.

According to Sumner, the IARU Region 3 Directors had identified two topics -- the IARU Monitoring System and Emergency Communications -- as being highly important, and major decisions were made on both of them. At the triennial meeting, three working groups were established: 

  • The IARU Monitoring System (MS) (WG-3).
  • Policy matters that included education, training, development of Amateur Radio and international and regional conferences involving radio administrations (WG-1).
  • Operational and Technical Matters, including Emergency Communications, the IARU R3 Award and band plans (WG-2).

The Conference agenda included five documents on the IARU MS that generally sought a review and reinvigoration of this important activity. A special working group was established with Peter Young, VK3MV appointed Chairman and IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD, as secretary.

The amateur services must take action to protect their bands, the Conference heard, because without complaints about an intruder causing harmful interference, it may be claimed that there is no breach of the ITU Radio Regulations. There was keen interest and participation in that working group. As a result of its work, the Conference resolved to acknowledge the contributions over many years of the IARU MS Region 3 Coordinator Arasu Manohar, VU2UR.

The Conference identified the need to update and modernize the IARU protocols and procedures to effectively deal with intruders causing harmful interference in the Amateur Radio bands. A package of proposed measures adopted by the Conference included greater coordination between the IARU MS coordinators in the three IARU regions, a single Web site to more effectively collect data on intruders and to record action being taken on them and to provide information to assist those submitting intruder observation reports.

The Conference confirmed the importance of participation in regional telecommunication organizations, which are setting directions on regulatory matters that could have impact on amateur services. IARU Member-Societies are encouraged to be involved in that activity, where possible. The regional telecommunication organization's decisions significantly influence the decisions taken by the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC); WRC-12 is scheduled to take place in January 2012.

New Zealand's Member-Society, NZART, received praise for a number of its initiatives. One was its "ZL3 Buildathon" project that involved the encouragement of electronic project construction in schools and elsewhere in the community to lift the profile of Amateur Radio. Another was the "Radio WAVE" project that demonstrates the principles of radio frequency propagation, polarity and effective radiated power.

The Conference heard that the Amsat-ZL's KiwiSAT amateur satellite project was undergoing final development. Some difficulties have arisen, due to US restrictions on the export of technology. KiwiSAT was expected to be ready for launch in 2010, although no decision has been made on launching it into orbit.

A total of nine documents on the agenda referred to Emergency Communications and Amateur Radio. ORARI and CRSA were highly commended on the role that they and radio amateurs had played in Indonesia and China after major natural disasters.

The Conference considered the concept of emergency Center of Activity (CoA) frequencies worthwhile, and adopted 3.600, 7.110, 14.300, 18.160 and 21.360 MHz. These have been immediately included in the IARU Region 3 Band Plans. CoA frequencies are not spot frequencies, but starting points + or - 5 kHz. They are not the only frequencies to be used and are not mode specific and should be considered as being "all modes."

The Conference also encouraged radio societies and emergency groups to include how best to publicize the role of radio amateurs during emergencies and make it known internationally in their planning and training.

Among the other agenda items considered were Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF), better utilization of all allocated amateur bands, BPL/PLT, EMC, visitor licensing, liaison between societies and the radio administrations in their nations, operating ethics and standards, and support for the development of Amateur Radio in the region.

An election was required for the five-member IARU R3 Directors, with Michael Owen, VK3KI; Shizuo Endo, JE1MUI; Peter Lake, ZL2AZ; Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN, and Joong-Guen Rhee, HL1AQQ, being re-elected. The Directors then nominated Owen as their chairman, and he was endorsed by Conference. The Secretary, Jay Oka, JA1TRC, was elected unopposed.

Owen described the Conference as one of the most constructive and friendly he had attended. He said the credit for that goes to all who participated in the meaningful discussions resulting in productive outcomes.

All in attendance were in praise of the NZART organizing committee, headed by Terry Carrell, ZL3QL. Carrell also took on the role of Conference Chairman, contributing greatly to its success. Sue Carrell and Mary Rogers ran a full program during the week for the wives of delegates and visitors.

The IARU recognised the work of Bob Knowles, ZL1BAD, on his retirement as the IARU MS Coordinator, a position he held for more than 20 years.

The Conference elected Peter Young, VK3MV, as the IARU R3 Regional IARU MS Coordinator. All other regional coordinators were reappointed.

The Conference received two invitations, one from ORARI for Bali, Indonesia, and another from VARC for Ho-Chi-Minh City, Vietnam to host the next Conference. The delegates voted in favour of accepting the VARC invitation for the 15th Conference in late 2012.



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