International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 (IARU R2) — the Americas — has released the September 2020 revision of its Band Plan and made procedural changes to shorten the time to reflect future adjustments. The Band Plan includes a change approved at the October 2019 General Assembly to add an Amateur Satellite uplink subband, 21.125 to 21.450 MHz, on a non-exclusive basis. This matches similar changes in the Region 1 and Region 3 band plans.
A number of administrative changes have been made to the text, although the Band Plan itself has not been modified. These changes include:
- Modifications to the wording of the Band Plan to ensure that national regulators understand it is a voluntary document, and that countries may depart from the plan based on national requirements.
- Definitions additions: Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF), primary service, secondary service, and several acronyms.
- Inclusion of information detailing the primary and secondary users in each amateur radio allocation band.
- Correction of minor typographical errors.
At its May 2020 meeting, the IARU R2 Executive Committee added text to the Standard Operating Procedures that provides a process for the Band Plan to be updated in a more timely manner. Prior to this change, Band Plan modifications could only be approved at a General Assembly, held once every 3 years. Under the new provision, the Band Planning Committee may circulate proposed changes to member-societies with the approval of the Executive Committee. “Should no more than one objection be received within a 60-day period, the change shall be deemed accepted and reported as such at the next conference,” the Band Planning Committee’s terms of references state.
The IARU R2 Band Planning Committee has a member from each of the seven areas in Region 2, and one of those members also serves as the committee’s chair. The current Committee Chair is Alphonse Penney, VO1NO/VA1AVR. — Thanks to IARU Region 2 Secretary George Gorsline, VE3YV