Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Falklands Call Sign Issues Resolved

Amateurs in certain British territories in the South Atlantic have been in call sign limbo since 2017, but a regional news service reports that an agreement has finally been reached to resolve it. According to a report from Merco Press, an "administrative oversight" in the new Falkland Islands Communications Ordinance adopted four years ago did not permit the issuance of VP8 calls for amateurs in former Falklands dependencies, but also did not provide for assignment of any other prefixes.

Now, according to the report, after several months of negotiations between Britain's communications regulator, Ofcom, and regulators in affected areas, Ofcom has authorized the use of the VP0 prefix for these territories, while VP8 will be assigned only in the Falklands. The report says legislation will need to be enacted before any of this takes effect. Once finalized, VP0 calls will be issued for amateurs operating in the British Antarctic Territory, the South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. All would be 2x3 calls; and currently-issued VP8 calls for the former dependencies will remain valid until new VP0 calls are issued.