Part 97.113 has been the topic of much discussion lately, ever since the FCC communicated a rather narrow interpretation of the rules. See my previous post on this topic for more background information. From the ARRL web site, we find that the ARRL Board of Directors has chimed in:
The Board instructed the ARRL staff to seek a change in Section 97.113(a)(3) of the FCC rules to permit amateurs, on behalf of an employer, to participate in emergency preparedness and disaster drills that include Amateur operations.
This is not really a surprise and despite the usual criticism coming from some quarters, I am encouraged that the board sees this as an issue that requires action.
N5FLD lists the specific wording that the ARRL Board has approved, expressing some concern about the particular text chosen. I think we are clearly headed towards the standard FCC rule making process that will give everyone their say and, hopefully, we’ll arrive at a reasonable decision.
The February issue of CQ Magazine, arrived in the mail today, with a W2VU editorial taking on this topic. Rich points out that if you really want to get picky about it, ham radio publications are at risk due to a narrow interpretation of Part 97.113. For example, if an author is getting paid to review a new ham transceiver for publication in CQ, can he actually put it on the air without getting the foul flag thrown for “pecuniary interest”? So CQ wants to broaden the discussion, and has their own proposal for Part 97.113.
My read: stay tuned as we hash through this. There is enough support (based on good reasoning, I think) that this issue will get addressed. But it will take some time.
73, Bob K0NR