New Conditions for VK9 Callsigns
Earlier this year, after it had taken over the responsibility of recommending callsigns, the WIA raised the question whether the conditions imposed by the ACMA on the issue of VK9 callsigns for Australia’s External Territories continued to be appropriate. In particular, the policies of requiring the callsign to include a letter as a location identifier and the bar on retaining a callsign were questioned. The WIA consulted widely, seeking submissions on the issue, and ultimately submitted to ACMA a report on its investigations and its recommendations.
Michael Owen - VK3KI
ACMA has now announced new arrangements for the issue of VK9 callsigns for the Australian External Territories that represent a significant simplification. From 1 November 2009 the arrangements for the issue of a licence for the VK9 call area will be the same as for the other Australian call areas. For other than visiting overseas amateurs, licences issued to authorise operation in the External Territories (VK9) will be issued for the period requested by the applicant. Unless a short term licence is specifically requested, the licence will not be 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 will be issued for a period of one year unless a short term licence is specifically requested. Licences issued to visiting overseas amateurs will not be automatically renewed. Where a station address cannot be provided, for example on an uninhabited island, the station location will be the name of the island.
Under the new provisions, all VK9 licensees, including overseas visitors, will be able to operate under the portable provisions of the Amateur Licence Conditions Determination in any External Territory or mainland state or territory. The issue about the callsign identifying the location, attracted the most interest. Callsigns allocated to amateur licences authorising operation in the External Territories will no longer contain a letter indicating a specific operating location. VK9 callsigns will continue to reflect the licence category (Advanced, Standard or Foundation).
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