The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 was introduced in the US Senate on July 12, marking another step forward for this landmark legislation. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are the Senate sponsors. The measure will, for the first time, guarantee all radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities governed by a homeowners' association (HOA) or subject to any private land-use regulations, the right to erect and maintain effective outdoor antennas at their homes. The Senate bill, S. 1534, is identical to H.R. 555, which passed the US House of Representatives in January.
"Amateur Radio continues to be a critical part of our emergency communications operations," Wicker said. "Mississippians learned firsthand after Hurricane Katrina how Amateur Radio operators can provide a resilient, distributed network to first responders and disaster relief organizations when other communications tools fail."
"Amateur Radio operators provide an invaluable service to their communities by assisting local emergency communication efforts when disasters occur and main lines are down," Blumenthal said. "This bipartisan measure ensures that operators have access to the tools they need to support our first responders when lives are at stake."
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai applauded the bill in late January, saying that it would "help Amateur Radio operators, and take several steps to promote public safety."
ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, expressed the League's appreciation to the Senate sponsors. "ARRL is grateful for the support of Senators Wicker and Blumenthal for sponsoring this important piece of legislation, and for advocating this bill for the past 3 years," he said. "Their continuing support is critical to the success of our efforts." President Roderick also thanked Senator John Thune (R-SD), who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, for "championing the Parity Act in the Senate since the beginning of our effort."
The bill has enjoyed widespread, bipartisan support. In the 114th Congress, nearly 130 cosponsors signed onto the legislation in the House and the Senate. The legislation, which strikes a carefully crafted balance for all concerned parties, is the result of months of work culminating in the accord reached by ARRL and the Community Associations Institute (CAI). The measure provides for the guarantee of an effective outdoor antenna while protecting the aesthetic concerns of HOAs.
In a statement, ARRL said it looks forward to working with the bipartisan leadership of the Senate and the Commerce Committee to help move the Wicker-Blumenthal legislation through the Senate and to the President's desk.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Singapore Technologies (ST) Electronics and GomSpace signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore the application and deployment of space-based VHF communications for air traffic management (ATM) in and around the Singapore Flight Information Region (FIR).
Space-based VHF communications represents the next level of communications capability and will complement Singapore's existing ground-based equipment, a statement said. VHF communications equipment is mounted onto a constellation of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites to enable clear, cost-effective and real-time communications between air traffic controllers and pilots anywhere. The technology will improve safety and enable the safe reduction in separation between aircraft in airspace where ground-based VHF communications is not available, increasing ATM capacity and reducing delays for aircraft in turn.
This partnership brings together strong complementary capabilities. As the air navigation services provider for the Singapore FIR, CAAS has decades of experience managing air traffic flows. ST Electronics has more than 45 years of experience in the design, development and integration of advanced electronics and communications systems including real-time mission-critical command and control, air traffic management and simulation systems. GomSpace is a designer, integrator and manufacturer of high-end nanosatellites for customers in the academic, government and commercial markets.
"CAAS is committed to continually investing in cutting-edge and innovative solutions to ensure that we can safely support the growing air traffic in the region,” CAAS Director-General Kevin Shum said. “With this collaboration, Singapore will be the first country in the world to move towards space-based VHF communications. This technology will enable CAAS to improve traffic throughput in the Singapore FIR, while enhancing safety and efficiency of ATM.”
Membership services restored
Access to the membership services have been restored, after a week of testing to debug errors. All registration paperwork has been processed to date, and cards printed and sent out. RAYNET e-mail is now fully operational, and members will now be receiving messages and weather warnings. The members area, contact info, news, and forum pages are back up and running and can be accessed as normal by password. Some updating may be required, but this will be minimal. Please contact the email@example.com if you experience problems.
Final call for RAY-Link
Don G3YQO has put out his usual call for contributions to this month's RAY~Link. These can be sent directly to him by email don.g3yqo @ gmail.com before the 18th July, please.
The database has now been restored, most of the member services are now available again. The service admins are still working through all the pages and links to make sure everything is as it should be. The National RAYNET-UK Committee of Management will keep you updated with further developments as they happen via this announcement page and the weekly news service..
Morning all - a bit of good news regarding the member services website. The database has now been restored - service admins can now start to go through the backlog of registrations and BPSS applications. The email service is now back up and running - you may have also noticed the weather warnings are now being received again. This temporary website is still being used and there are no plans to change this. The National RAYNET-UK Committee of Managementwill keep you updated with further developments as they happen via this announcement page.
Some good news, progress is being made towards having the RAYNET-UK server back online very soon. Currently the new member services server is in testing and not available to the general membership just yet, but will be very soon. First services which will come back are email, group mailing system, WX warnings, webmail and the members forum. Other services will follow.
At the National RAYNET-UK Committee of Management meeting, held on Saturday 17th June, vital decisions were made regarding the urgent restoration of the memberships web services using a cloud-based server solution. This will give RAYNET-UK the resilience and greater capability to expand its provision for members in the future. The main priority is now to reinstate the membership web services as soon as possible and this work has already commenced. This will restore the RAYNET email service, Registrations, talk through permits and BPSS applications as a priority, other services will follow on.
Note: Members should rest assured that once documentation has been received by Registrations, insurance cover is operational, even if the cards have not been issued. The backlog will be cleared as soon as possible. The public RAYNET-UK website, (this website), is currently being re-populated with content and will remain hosted separately for the foreseeable future.
A news feed for all things related to RAYNET-UK and Emergency Communications