Interview with Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM), new Vice President and Treasurer of the IARU (International Amateur Radio Union), Region 2
Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO), visited LABRE (Liga de Amadores Brasileiros de Radio Emissão), to interview the new Vice President and Treasurer of IARU region 2.
Actually, he is an old acquaintance in Brazil and the rest of America for all his radio amateurs, he has many years of experience, we are talking about Gustavo de Faria Franco – PT2ADM, who was in charge without interruption for 21 years as director of the Area F, position that was assigned to him at the XIV General Assembly of the IARU, region 2 to be held in Guatemala City, 2001.
Many radio listeners and radio amateurs are still not clear about what the IARU is and what it is for, therefore, we invite you to learn a little about this association, through this exclusive report from our correspondent in Brazil, where also the interviewee, He tells us about his past as a radio listener.
Enjoy the interview!
Introduction by Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO)
I am at LABRE (Liga de Amadores Brasileiros de Rádio Emissão), located in Brasilia DF, capital of Brazil, to interview Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM), who was elected Vice President, in the last General Assembly of IARU Region 2 with the highest story involvement.
The Assembly that took place at the end of last year (2022) was scheduled to be held in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, but the impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic led to the decision being made to hold it for the first time. virtually.
What seemed negative at first allowed many members to participate and attend an Assembly for the first time. There were 117 registered delegates from 26 Member Societies, representatives from IARU Regions 1 and 3 were also present.
Gustavo de Faria Franco, began on the radio, first as a radio listener, then in 1981, he would have his first callsign as a radio amateur, it was PT2WGH, as class C in Brazil. In 1082 he was promoted to class B, where he changed his callsign to PT2ADM, a year later in 1983, he obtained class A, the equivalent of extra class in Brazil.
Gustavo de Faria Franco, has already held various positions in LABRE (League of Brazilian Lovers of Radio Emissão), at the national and state level, he is currently the president of LABRE Federal District.
In 2001 in Guatemala, at the IARU Region 2 Triennial Assembly, he was elected as director of Area F. Area F covers the countries of Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and of course Brazil.
Gustavo is not a radio amateur who only works in administrative matters, on the contrary, he is very active in DX and contests, where he has already obtained important achievements.
I invite you to learn more about this outstanding Brazilian radio amateur and about the IARU through this interview.
Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM), new Vice President and Treasurer of the IARU region 2, in the LABRE antenna park (Liga de Amadores Brasileiros de Radio Emissão), (Photo Ligia Katze)
Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO): How could it be defined in a simple way and in a few words, what is the IARU?
Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM): Telecommunications around the world are governed by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union), which has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. All countries that use telecommunications have a regulatory entity in their territory, which in the case of Brazil is ANATEL. To better deal with the whole world, the ITU divided it into 3 regions: – Region 1, comprising Europe and Africa; – Region 2, which includes the 3 Americas; – and Region 3, which comprises Asia and Oceania. Each of these regions has a telecommunications management body, which meets periodically, with the aim of organizing itself for the meetings that take place in Geneva every 3 years. The body that is linked to the OAS – Organization of American States – is CITEL – Inter-American Telecommunications Conference, which is linked to ANATEL.
Radio amateurs have to be connected with the ITU, to be able to defend our bands and everything else that concerns the Radio Amateur Service. To serve the interests of radio amateurs around the world, there is an entity that represents them, which is related to the ITU. This entity is the IARU – International Amateur Radio Union – that is, the International Union of Radio Amateurs. Like the ITU, the IARU is also divided into 3 regions.
In a few words, the IARU is a worldwide organization whose main objective is to favorably influence National Administrations and the ITU, in amateur radio matters.
Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO): And now how could I define myself? What is IARU Region 2?
Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM): The IARU Region 2 is the regional organization made up of entities that represent the American continent, including the islands of the Caribbean Sea and some islands of the Pacific Ocean.
IARU Region 2 was founded in Mexico City in 1964.
In turn, the IARU region 2 is divided into 7 areas that allows, in a geographically equitable way, to have a director for each area.
I had the honor of belonging for 21 years, as manager of area F, which covers Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and of course Brazil.
Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO): In all these years of the IARU region 2, what achievements were achieved for the radio amateur community?
Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM): The IARU region 2, had many achievements and achievements for all radio amateurs in the region.
The IARU region 2 grew along with radio communication technology, we have to think that when the IARU region 2 was created, it was in the 1960s, where the discussions were very different, for example there was a debate between SSB versus AM and most of the commercial communications were done by mail, telegrams and later by the novel use of telex (laughs…) There were no computers for general use, we worked without e-mail, internet, whatsapp.
That is why the work of the IARU Region 2 deserves a lot of respect from all of us, it was not easy to coordinate an organization with so many countries involved, when we did not have the means of communication that we find today, of course we used the radio, in the 20 meter band, something we maintain to this day.
To cite one of the most outstanding achievements of organized radio amateurs in the Americas, I can safely say that it has been the unanimous adoption by the General Assembly of the Organization of American States in 1995 of the International Amateur Radio Permit (“IARP”). ” for its acronym in English).
Another achievement, it may be something so everyday that many radio amateurs are unaware that it was thanks to the IARU region 2, many years ago the DX operators wanted to adopt a standard for the dimensions of QSL cards and the way of writing dates. Something that today seems so simple, however a study by the Administrative Council was required because customs vary in each region. But today we have a universal standard for our QSL cards.
Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO): What new frequencies and bands are being considered by the IARU region 2, to be requested and assigned for radio amateurs?
Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM): At the moment we are not thinking of new frequencies or bands, if not quite the contrary, the IARU region 2 is doing everything possible not to lose and maintain the frequencies and bands already assigned.
For example, in the high bands, we are facing a serious problem, more precisely the spectrum that goes from 144 MHz to 275 GHz, is being increasingly required for commercial use and there is great pressure for this segment of the spectrum to be shared. between commercial communications and radio amateurs. Currently we have approximately 9% of the spectrum awarded for our use, perhaps in the future we will have to adapt to sharing more of the spectrum with other commercial users.
Much of this also has to do with the lack of activity that exists year after year in these bands, it is known to all of us how activity has declined in these bands, even in some countries of the region it has reached very low levels, for this reason We are not concerned with claiming more spectrum, but with the current radio amateurs using what we had already conquered for our hobby.
For this, the IARU region 2 is working on activities to attract young people to the radio.
Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO): What else can you tell me about those activities to attract young people to the radio?
Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM): For example, in the IARU region 2 we are working to organize the third annual YOTA Summer Camp in the Americas, which will take place between July 16 and 21 of this year and will take place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
This will be the first time that we will do youth exchanges between IARU region 2 and region 1, since region 1 is very advanced compared to our region in youth activities, the idea is that young people between 15 and 25 years old will participate of age, with the idea of exchanging knowledge and establishing new relationships among young radio amateurs.
Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO: After being elected as Vice President of the IARU region 2 at the end of the year 2022, I learned that also at the beginning of February 2023 you were now also elected to hold the position of treasurer of the entity, on this matter I would like to ask you two things . First, what does it mean for you to be treasurer of Iaru region 2 now? Second: how is the IARU region 2 financed?
Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM): Being now also treasurer of the IARU region 2 is an honor for me, it is something that requires a high degree of responsibility and transparency in accountability, I believe that the key to the survival of any type of organization, whether public or private, is the cash flow equilibrium. That is, the fact of having enough money to continue with their activities.
In answer to your other question, about how the IARU region 2 is financed, basically the member societies pay a fee, these payments are then allocated to expenses that are mainly related to the representation of the radio amateur services before the ITU (International Telecommunication Union). ) and before other international organizations.
I would like to tell you that the last few years in economic terms have been difficult for IARU region 2, since the economic impacts of Covid-19 were especially severe in emerging economies, especially in South America and for all radio amateurs in the Americas, for this reason. A one-year reduction in fees for 2021 was provided, for example in member societies whose fees are less than $150, a total fee waiver was provided and in larger societies it was reduced to 50%, despite these difficulties, IARU region 2 was able to meet all its obligations in economic matters.
Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO): What can you tell me about emergency communications, how is the IARU region 2 organized?
Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM): Each of the IARU regions has an Emergency Communications Coordinator, this is called “EMCOR”, who is in charge of the exchange with the coordinators of the member associations to facilitate relations between all and unite the efforts of the radio amateurs of these countries. in emergency communications.
The general coordinator of region 2 is the Cuban colleague Carlos Alberto Santamaria, (CO2JC), who has been doing an excellent job.
But of course the region is huge and each country has its different circumstances when it comes to emergencies, that’s why within the 7 different areas there is another coordinator.
Here in Brazil, which is a country of continental dimensions, each state of the federation has its very different characteristics, either in the climate, or in the organizational structure.
This mission in Brazil is carried out by the colleague Hilton Telles Libanori PY2BBQ, who is in turn the national coordinator of RENER (our local emergency network in Brazil), another colleague I would like to mention, although he is not in charge of emergencies I would like to highlight my colleague Flavio Aurélio Braggion Archangelo PY2ZX, who belongs to LABRE’s spectrum management and defense group and IARU coordinator for CITEL (Inter-American Telecommunications Commission)
Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO): Continuing with the issue of emergencies at the beginning of February of this year 2023, the unfortunate earthquakes in Turkey and Syria occurred, the world community of radio amateurs learned that the IARU Region 1 requested collaboration to leave it free for use for emergency traffic , in region 2, more precisely on the frequencies 7092.0 LSB and 3.777 LSB, for coordination work in the area, on this matter, what can you tell me about it?
Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM): By the way, first I would like to clarify that, in this type of catastrophe, RENER Brazil (Rede Nacional de Emergência de Radioamadores) has no jurisdiction.
The first hours after an earthquake has occurred are “vital”. It is precisely in those first hours where 95% of local radio amateurs activate communications traffic, locally, nationally or internationally.
The quick reaction of the radio amateurs in Turkey was vital from the first moment the locals activated their frequencies of VHF, UHF, 28540 Mhz and later in 40 and 80 meter bands.
All our representatives from the IARU region 2, belonging to the emergency area, communicated from the first minutes with the IARU region 1, especially in support of the colleagues in Turkey, under their national coordinator and in coordination with the Turkish Government ( through their embassies).
Our work here in region 2 basically focused on monitoring and freeing all emergency frequencies from any interference that could be caused by proximity and propagation with region 1.
Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO): Taking advantage of the fact that we are in Brazil, I would like to ask you about the activity of radio amateurs in the country?
Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM): Well, it’s not for nothing that they elected me now also as treasurer of the IARU region 2, I like to have numbers of everything (laughs)…
Based on official data provided by ANATEL (Agência Nacional de Telecomunicações), the number of radio amateurs has increased in Brazil since last year. Almost 1,000 new colleagues currently operate in our bands, representing a growth of around 2.2% and breaking the mark of 40,000 radio amateurs in July 2022.
According to the open access databases released by Anatel, in July 2022 there were a total of 40,848 radio amateurs in Brazil, which represents an increase of 2.2% compared to 2021.
The growth occurred in Class C (+1.6%), followed by classes B (+0.8%) and A (0.7%). The numbers show a modest growth in the total number of radio amateurs.
The majority of radio amateurs (70%) are in class C, which is the service entry category, these numbers indicate the urgent need to stimulate promotion to category B.
Amateur radio in Brazil is practiced mostly by men, only 6% of women practice this hobby, this fact indicates the urgent need to better understand the small participation of women in the hobby and create incentive mechanisms for new radio amateurs.
Although the number of radio amateurs and stations in Brazil is considerable, compared to other continental countries, the numbers remain modest. For example, according to the ARRL (National Association of Radio Amateurs of the United States) there were in that country, as of July 2022, a total of 772,903 radio amateurs, which is equivalent to about 16 times more than in Brazil.
Martin Butera (PT2ZDX – LU9EFO): Finally, you know that the readers of this magazine are mostly radio listeners. What can you tell me about your past as a radio listener?
Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM): As a radio listener, I think I was privileged, I really enjoyed the hobby when it was at its peak, I spent every night looking for stations and sounds from all over the world.
At that time, short-wave emissions meant the only direct and fast contact with the different cultures of the world, radio was made with a lot of imagination and talent.
I no longer practice the hobby with the excitement of before, but I always have my Sangean ATS-909X radio, on the bedside table, next to the bed, when I can’t fall asleep, I put my headphones on, of course so as not to wake my wife (laughs)…
I like to hunt or tune in to some distant medium wave radio station.
So far part of this interesting interview with colleague Gustavo de Faria Franco (PT2ADM), from the magazine, we want to wish him an excellent job in his management as Vice President and Treasurer of IARU region 2
The new Executive Committee took office on December 15, 2022 and will serve until shortly after the next General Assembly, which will take place in 2025 in Ecuador and will be hosted by the Radio Club de Guayaquil.
President: George Gorsline, VE3YV
Vice President and Treasurer: Gustavo de Faria Franco, PT2ADM
Secretary: Rod Stafford, W6ROD
Área A: George Gorsline, VE3YV
Área B: Rod Stafford, W6ROD
Área C: Víctor Damián Pinilla Morán, XE1VP
Área D: José Arturo Molina, YS1MS
Área E: Jaime Hernando Duarte, HK6W
Área F: Oscar Pancorvo, OA4AMN
Área G: Galdino Besomi, CE3PG
About the IARU (International Amateur Radio Union)
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was founded in Paris on April 18, 1925. At that time it was formed by 25 countries and later it grew until today, when it already groups 160 member societies in three regions.
IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas and Region 3 comprises Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia.
IARU Region 2 Assemblies throughout its history
I Ciudad de México, 1964
II Venezuela, 1967
III Jamaica, 1970
IV Chile, 1973
V U.S.A., 1976
VI Panamá, 1978
VII Perú, 1980
VIII Colombia, 1983
IX Argentina, 1986
X Orlando, U.S.A., 1989
XI Willemstad, Curazao, Antillas Neerlandesas, 1992
XII Niágara, Canada, 1995
XIII Isla Margarita, Venezuela, 1998
XIV Ciudad de Guatemala, 2001
XV Trinidad y Tobago, 2004
XVI Brasília, Brasil, 2007
XVII Salinitas, El Salvador, 2010
XVIII La Riviera Maya, México, 2013
XIX Viña del Mar, Chile; 2016
XX Lima, Perú, 2019
XXI Buenos Aires, 2022 (suspendida por la pandemia Covid 19, celebrada virtualmente)
About the LABRE ( Liga de Amadores Brasileiros de Radio Emissão)
LABRE was born from a merger in 1934. In São Paulo, the Liga de Amadores Brasileiros of Rádio Emissão had been operating since February 12, 1931. In Rio de Janeiro, there was the Rede Brasileira de Radioamadores, since February 13, 1931. Two societies with the same objectives, the same purposes, the same desire to serve, the same spirit of brotherhood.
On February 2, 1934, meeting in the main hall of the Rio de Janeiro Trade Employees Union, at Rua Gonçalves Dias, no. 3, 3rd floor, a group of idealists, representatives of both societies, decided to found the current LABRE, becoming the only institution representing Brazilian radio amateurs before national and international government entities.
Affiliated to the International Union of Radio Amateurs (IARU), it is recognized as a national radio amateur association by Ordinance 498, of June 6, 1975, of the Ministry of Communications and as a civil association of Public Utility, since August 22. of 2002. It is a member of the National Civil Defense System, through the National Emergency Network for Radio Amateurs-RENER, created on October 24, 2001 by the Ministry of National Integration.