When may a person use an Amateur Radio station?
This is a question often raised, steeped in some misunderstanding, and causes a few arguments along the way. The Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination 2015, or LCD, makes the regulations clear. Not fully reading and understanding their intent and history can be problematical.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
All Foundation, Standard or Advanced stations, may be used by an unqualified person, for the purpose of self-training in radio communications, provided a licence holder is in charge, in other words, are present and effectively operate.
The LCD defines 'operate' as meaning, "take an action to control the operation of the station or of a transmitter that is part of the station." This is particularly useful when a station is used at numerous events, like the Jamboree on The Air, or for example, where a member of the public wants to talk on a microphone. However, the LCD makes only Advanced or Standard licence holders allowed to have a person use the station for the purpose of training or being examined for a qualification - such as the time of a practical assessment.
Another misunderstanding that can arise is about the operation of an Advanced station, by those who may hold a lower level amateur qualification. The ACMA only issues an Advance licence to clubs. It asks that a nominated licensee at that level be responsible to ensure that the station is used within its licence conditions, and when it is used unsupervised, that the person does so within their own licence parameters of frequency, power and modes. If the club station is operated alone by a Standard or Foundation licence holder, they must abide by their own licence conditions for which they are personally qualified. This also means that a club callsign may be used portable, such as during a net, provided the conditions applying to the licensee present are met. However, should an Advance licensee be present and in charge, it may at any time be also used as an Advance station under its licence conditions.
The WIA hopes this clears up any confusion. It reminds that the LCD provisions apply to all, and is a condition of licences issued by the ACMA.
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