The International Amateur Radio Union Administrative Council (AC) met in a virtual session on October 8 – 10. Consisting of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organizations, the council is responsible for IARU policy and management. The meeting, which had been set to take place in Novi Sad, Serbia, was conducted via the internet because of coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions. The virtual format had the benefit of allowing participation by additional observers from regional organizations and a real-time presentation of reports from specialized IARU coordinators and advisors.
Recently appointed EMC Coordinator Martin Sach, G8KDF, reported on what is being done on behalf of the IARU in CISPR, the International Special Committee on Radio Interference. Sach and his predecessor, Tore Worren, LA9QL, continue to work together to address the need for reasonable standards to limit the proliferating threat of radio spectrum pollution from digital devices and wireless power transmission.
IARU Beacon Project Coordinator Peter Jennings, AB6WM/VE3SUN, reported on the status of the HF time-shared beacon network supported by the Northern California DX Foundation and the IARU. He explained recent and planned upgrades, as well as the networks many applications.
In his report, Satellite Advisor Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, described the work of the Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel. He reported that steps are being taken to address the growing number of non-amateur satellites that use the amateur satellite spectrum.
Special Advisor for Emergency Communications Rod Stafford, W6ROD, explained his work representing the IARU in the ITU Development Sector (ITU-D), particularly with regard to disaster communications, and preparations for the World Telecommunication Development Conference scheduled for November 2021. He highlighted an opportunity to promote amateur radio in ITU-D as a training platform for youth.
Preparations are already underway for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), currently expected to be held in 2023. A team of some 20 IARU volunteers from all continents, headed by IARU Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR, is engaged in the preparatory processes of the ITU and the regional telecommunications organizations (RTOs). The AC reviewed a draft of IARU’s positions on WRC-23 agenda items of concern. The council also reviewed its Action Plan for the remainder of 2020 and 2021. The plan will be subject to ongoing adjustment in response to the impact of the pandemic on international travel.
A committee was formed in 2019 to address the growing pressure on the amateur spectrum, particularly secondary allocations, at 144 MHz and above. The committee reported on its work to date in defining present and future spectrum requirements. Additional information will be sought from the amateur community on how this spectrum is being utilized.
The AC received and discussed an in-depth report from its Working Group on the Future of IARU. It agreed to steps for evolving toward a more flexible organization and strengthened relationships within the global amateur radio community and telecommunications ecosystem.
The council received an IARU membership application from the Amateur Radio Union of the Kyrgyz Republic. It will be submitted to IARU member-societies for approval.
Taking note of the many ways that the global amateur radio community has responded positively to challenges posed by the pandemic, the AC agreed to develop a related theme for World Amateur Radio Day next April 18.
AC members attending the meeting were IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ; regional representatives Don Beattie, G3BJ; Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T; Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK; George Gorsline, VE3YV; Wisnu Widjaja, YB0AZ, and Ken Yamamoto, JA1CJP. Participating as observers were regional executive committee members Sylvain Azarian, F4GKR; Mats Espling, SM6EAN; Jose Arturo Molina, YS1MS; Jay Bellows, K0QB, and Peter Young, VK3MV. IARU Assistant Secretary Joel Harrison, W5ZN, also participated.
While additional virtual meetings will be scheduled in the months ahead, the council expressed the hope that an in-person meeting can be held in October 2021.