IOTA Management announced on 31 August 2018 on the IOTA website the five yearly review of the Directory list of IOTA groups. It had the intention of releasing a small number of additions at this year’s RSGB Convention in Milton Keynes with a second tranche at Ham Radio Friedrichshafen in July 2019. IOTA Management is grateful to proposers of some 28 candidate groups received by the 1 October deadline. On Sunday 14 October IOTA General Manager Roger Balister, G3KMA announced the first tranche of 6 new groups at the RSGB Convention. They covered a Swedish/Finnish joint sovereignty island and groups in North America, Asia and Oceania. All new groups have provisional numbers. This means that they will need to be confirmed by an operation taking place after 14 October 2018 that meets the 1000 QSO and other normal validation requirements. Only after confirmation of the number will credit for past operations be considered.
The following 6 groups are added to the IOTA list as a first tranche of New Ones. A second tranche will be announced at Ham Radio Friedrichshafen 2019.
1. EU-192P SM/OH Kataja Island, Finland/Sweden (=Kataja) 65 41–65 43N 24 07–24 11E New ‘split sovereignty island’, located in the very north of the Gulf of Bothnia. Since the signing of a bilateral agreement in 1809 ground rise has caused the Swedish island Kataja and the smaller Finnish island Inakari to merge forming a larger island 2 km long. The border between Sweden and Finland now crosses the island, similar to Market Reef. No known previous amateur radio activity.
2. OC-297P FO Morane Atoll, Tuamotu Islands, French Polynesia (=Morane) 23 05S–23 15S 137 05–137 11W New ‘remote island’ group. This island, previously an outlier of the OC-113 Actaeon group, lies a distance of at least 153 km from Maria Est Island, the nearest island in the rest of the Tuamotus. No known previous amateur radio activity.
3. NA-249P KP3, 4 Puerto Rico’s Coastal Islands, Puerto Rico (=Caja de Muertos, Culebra, Culebrita, Mona, Monito, Vieques) 17 48–18 40N 065 09–068 00W New ‘coastal islands’ group. Justified on the grounds that Puerto Rico is of a similar size to Corsica which has a coastal islands sub-group. Some 5 previous operations, 3 from Vieques, and 1 each from Culebra and Mona.
4. NA-250P KL Yakutat County Group, Coastal Groups, United States (Alaska) (=Fitzgerald, Gregson, Khantaak, Knight, Kriwoi, Krutoi, Otmeloi) 58 48–60 00N 137 56–141 00W New ‘coastal islands’ group, created by splitting the current NA-161 Skagway–Yakutat County group. It can be justified on the grounds that the qualifying islands in both groups are separated by at least 250 km and the two administrative counties can be easily split. No known previous amateur radio activity.
5. AS-205P R0X Bering Sea Coast East group, Koryanskiy Avtonomnyy Okrug, Russian Federation – Asia (=Yoanna Bogoslova, Vasiliya Islands) 57 20–61 49N 168 00–174 30E New ‘coastal islands’ group, created by splitting the current AS-064 Bering Sea Coast group. Bogoslova Island lies 460 km away in a straight line from Verkhoturova Island, and 485 km away from Karaginskiy Island, the only two island counters of this group. The Vasiliya Islands are further away. This distance spread in a group is quite exceptional. We allowed AS-091 in a neighbouring area to be split in July 2014, the separation being 500 km or more. No known previous amateur radio activity.
6. AS-204P R0F Kuril’skiye Islands North, Sakhalinskaya Oblast’, Russian Federation – Asia (=Atlasov, Shumshu, Paramushir, Antsiferova, Makanrushi, Onekotan, Kharimkotan, Chirinkotan, Ekarma, Shiashkotan, Raikoke, Matua, Rasshua, Ushishir, Ketoy, Simushir) 46 40–51 00N 151 30–156 38E A new group, created by splitting AS-025 Kuril’skiye Islands into 2. The islands extend over a distance of more than 1200 km. Adverse comparisons are made with the Aleutian Island Chain and the Hawaiian Island Chain where there are many separate IOTA Groups. Some information sources specify North and South Kurils as sub-groups. Most activity has been from the South Group.
Roger Balister, G3KMA
IOTA General Manager
14 October 2018