Due to an oversight in the new communications legislation recently introduced in the Falkland Islands, the VP8 prefix no longer applies to the former Falkland Islands Dependencies (Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetlands, South Orkneys, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands).

This impasse has been ongoing since 2017 when the Falklands government abruptly stopped issuing VP8 licenses to DXpeditions and other amateurs wishing to operate from the Antarctic, South Georgia etc.

The logical solution would be to allocate new prefixes to the former Dependencies and the strongest candidates would be VP0 for British Antarctic Territory (BAT) because several nations already use 0 to indicate an Antarctic station e.g. VK0, DP0, HF0 etc. and ZD0 for South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) because it is the southernmost of Britain’s mid-Atlantic territories (the others being ZD7, ZD8 & ZD9).

Both these prefixes are available and have never been allocated before. They are eminently suitable for these locations and are probably what most DXers would prefer. Note that BAT and SGSSI are separate British Overseas Territories and therefore each requires its own separate prefix.

The Falkland Islands Communications Regulator has never invited any public consultation on this matter, nevertheless VP0 and ZD0 have been previously suggested as the logical choices for these rare DX locations. Unfortunately, these suggestions seem to have fallen on deaf ears.

Instead, it is now rumoured that the Falklands Government is about to revive a defunct Caribbean prefix (VP4, formerly Trinidad & Tobago) and apply it to two separate British territories in the Antarctic by sub-dividing the suffix e.g. VP4Axx for SGSSI (South Georgia and South Sandwich) and VP4Bxx for BAT (Antarctic Peninsula, South Orkneys & South Shetlands).

For more details, see the various posts on https://www.openfalklands.com/ If you think that resurrecting a defunct Caribbean prefix for use in the Antarctic and subdividing the suffix is a really bad idea and wish to lobby for a proper solution with new prefixes to be implemented you should contact the following Falkland Islands government officials as soon as possible and make your sentiments known:

If the worldwide amateur radio community shouts loudly enough, we just might get a couple of new prefixes and a satisfactory resolution to this ongoing five year old stalemate. [VK6CQ for OPDX]