Amateur Callsign Structure
Callsigns are a unique combination of letters and numbers allocated to a radiocommunications user to identify a station.
Callsigns must be used for all on-air communications including testing. Callsigns allocated to amateur stations conform with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations see Callsign construction. Table 2 contains information about the callsign templates allocated to the amateur licensing options.
Amateur callsign construction
VK$, where $ is the State/Territory Indicator. This is a number from 0-9 indicating the State or Territory in which the station is operating:
0 = Antarctic
1 = Australian Capital Territory
2 = New South Wales
3 = Victoria
4 = Queensland
5 = South Australia
6 = Western Australia
7 = Tasmania
8 = Northern Territory
9 = Australian External Territories
Suffix of two, three or four letters.
The first letter in the three or four group indicates the licence type of the amateur station transmitting.
For example, VK$Taa, where 'T' signifies that the amateur transmitting this callsign holds an Advanced licence.
See Table 2 for template details.
State/Territory indicators ($) are used to indicate a station's licensed location. When an amateur moves interstate to live, he or she will be issued a new callsign to indicate the new State or Territory of residence.
From 1 November 2009 the licensing arrangements for the VK9 call area became the same as for the other Australian call areas.
Licences issued to Amateurs, other than visiting overseas amateurs, to authorise operation in the External Territories (VK9) are issued for the period requested by the applicant (up to five years). Unless a short term licence (less than one year) is specifically requested, the licence is not subject to a renewal bar. This provision applies regardless of whether the applicant is a visitor or permanent resident or does not provide a 'station address'.
Apparatus licences issued to visiting overseas amateurs are issued for a period of one year unless a short term licence is specifically requested. Licences issued to visiting overseas amateurs are not automatically renewed.
Where a station address cannot be provided, for example on an uninhabited island, the station location is the name of the island.
All VK9 licensees, including overseas visitors, are able to operate under the portable provisions of the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination No.1 of 1997, in any External Territory or mainland state or territory.
Although the structure of callsigns allocated to amateur licences authorising operation in the External Territories (VK9) reflects the three licence categories (Advanced, Standard or Foundation), they do not include a letter to denote a specific operating location.
Callsign templates allocated to the amateur licensing options
Licence Option - Advanced
VK$aa, VK$Aaa, VK$Baa, VK$Caa, VK$Daa, VK$Eaa, VK$Faa, VK$Gaa, VK$Iaa, VK$Jaa, VK$Kaa, VK$Oaa, VK$Saa, VK$Taa, VK$Uaa, VK$Waa, VK$Xaa, VK$Yaa, VK$Zaa, VK$RAN, VK2RAS, VK$WIA-WIZ (WIA), VK$GGA-GGZ (Guides Aust), VK$SAA-SDZ (Scouts Assoc.), VK7OTC, VK$IYA - IYZ (International years)
Licence Option - Standard
VK$Haa, VK$Laa, VK$Maa, VK$Naa, VK$Paa, VK$Vaa
Licence Option - Foundation
Licence Option - Repeater
Licence Option - Beacon
Special events callsigns
Callsigns other than those normally allocated to an amateur station may be allocated on occasions of international, national, state/territory or local significance. The event must be of broad interest to the Amateur or wider community.
Special event callsigns will not be issued for recurrent events unless it is a particularly significant event (such as a 25th, 50th or 75th anniversary). Note that Amateurs may use the AX prefix on every Australia Day, Anzac Day and ITU Day without seeking allocation of a special event callsign.
The WIA will only recommend special event callsigns where the Amateur station concerned is actually participating in the event. ACMA will generally issue only one such special event station licence in relation to a particular event.
The callsign may employ special prefixes (e.g. AX or VI) and/or special suffixes. All special callsigns will include the appropriate state/territory indicator. WIA may authorise the use of callsigns with suffixes comprising two or more characters (letters and/or digits). ACMA will issue a short term licence for the period of the event or celebration.
Allocation of the AX prefix
This prefix is only available for occasions of special national or international significance, such as the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Occasions warranting the use of the 'AX' prefix will be determined by WIA in consultation with ACMA. Under such circumstances:
the 'AX' prefix, which will be made available to all amateurs, may be used in lieu of the normal 'VK' prefix;
allocation of the prefix will be restricted to the duration of the occasion;
the allocation of specific 'AX' prefix callsigns for individual particular events, where the callsign does not comply with usual amateur callsign construction (AX$aa, AX$aaa or AX$aaaa (where $ is the State/Territory indicator)) cannot be guaranteed.
Allocation of the VI prefix
This prefix is only available for occasions of special state/territory or local significance during such times when this prefix is not required by ACMA for use by other services. Occasions warranting such use will be determined by WIA in consultation with ACMA.
Use of the 'VI' prefix usually involves 'VI' being substituted for the normal 'VK' prefix. The allocation of specific 'VI' prefix callsigns for individual particular events, where the callsign does not comply with usual amateur callsign construction (VI$aa, VI$aaa or VI$aaaa (where $ is the State/Territory indicator)) cannot be guaranteed.
The WIA will only accept requests for the allocation of the 'VI' prefix from clubs, organisations or amateur groups. Requests for special event callsigns will not be accepted for the purposes of:
gaining an advantage in on-air competitions; or
for use during Islands on the Air (IOTA) competitions, DX expeditions, or fox hunts and the like; or
Use of the IYA - IYZ suffix group
The IYA - IYZ suffix group will continue to be reserved for use by groups wishing to commemorate United Nations' declared years, for example, International Year of the Child (IYC).
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