At its July 2016 meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors approved revisions concerning the management and governance of its National Traffic System™ (NTS) program. In response, some NTS™ participants have proposed to form a new organization with the stated purpose of engaging in current NTS activity, independent of ARRL. This action, in part, was a reaction to ARRL’s announcement regarding the creation of an enhanced emergency communications plan, scheduled for implementation later this year. The ARRL plan will address the role of programs such as NTS, which can provide important capabilities to ARRL partner agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, and The Salvation Army.
In a statement issued August 3 by ARRL, the League said it believes that the existing ARRL NTS™ program will rise to meet these new, demanding requirements; NTS resources are already well-established networks and have a long history of reliable operation.
“We encourage all NTS participants to be involved in current National Traffic System activities by continuing their existing assignments and duties,” the statement said. “However, if NTS™ members wish to explore alternative programs like the one recently proposed, we do not wish to discourage that exploration.”
The statement went on to say that it is ARRL’s mission to support all activities that advance the art, science, and enjoyment of Amateur Radio. The League “encourages any activity that strengthens the national emergency communications infrastructure, provides network redundancy, and refines and maintains the critical skills of radio amateurs who daily serve their communities with communication training activities and responses to local and regional emergencies,” the statement concluded.