- IOTA and Crimea
IOTA Management has decided that, given the unresolved political situation in Crimea, it has no course open to it except, for a period initially of one year, to freeze certain actions connected with Crimea that it would normally take in the routine management of the IOTA programme. This means that it will not accept or issue credit for EU-180 operations taking place after 17 March 2014 that use a non-Ukrainian callsign, or accede to any requests from programme participants for update of their records or changes of callsign and/or checkpoint that involve a change of DXCC entity. The Committee will review the situation after one year in the light of developments. IOTA Management regrets taking this action but it accords with practice adopted elsewhere.
- New IOTA Group Numbers Confirmed
Following the receipt of validation material several new IOTA group numbers have been confirmed with the result that credits can be given for the operations in brackets: AS-200 (several JA5 stations), AS-201 (TA0/DF8DX), EU-191 (YP0F), NA-247 (PJ7PK) and OC-294 (VK6ISL). Most made well over the required 1,000 QSOs for a first-time operation. The pile-ups had to be heard to be believed.
- Withdrawal of AN-014 Berkner Island
Berkner Island, the sole qualifying island of AN-014, has been on the IOTA list since the very start of the IOTA Programme. It was regularly shown on maps as a large island, albeit covered with a layer of very thick ice, separating the Ronne Ice Shelf from the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. Some contacts were made by LU1ZX from the old General Belgrano III Base on the island more than 30 years ago – no more than a handful are credited on the IOTA database. The remote possibility of a second operation that might be mounted at huge expense has caused IOTA Management to review the retention of Berkner Island on the list. In recent years there have been authentic reports from the scientific community that Berkner Island is an ice-rise and that no part of the land-mass under it would be above water if there were no ice. This seems to have gathered credence with map-makers as the considered view of the scientific community. Faced with information that confirms that the ice-rise does not meet IOTA’s qualification rules as a valid island IOTA Management have taken the decision to withdraw AN-014 from the IOTA list with immediate effect before any further operation takes place. The few existing credits will be withdrawn no later than 1 January 2015.