[amsat-bb] Cruise with AMSAT

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Mon Jan 11 00:48:41 UTC 2016


It appears that the process for a non-Panamanian
amateur operator to legally operate from a
Panamanian-registered ship is simple. For amateur
operators in some North and South American countries,
including the USA and Canada, the IARP is the way to
go. If the foreign operator cannot obtain an IARP, a
temporary Panamanian amateur permit is available. For
IARP holders, there is also a notification that appears
to be required - a notice sent to the Panamanian
Department of Communications, part of the Ministry
of Government and Justice. This information is
listed on the Radio Club de Panama web site:


A notification is much simpler than having to apply
for a temporary operating permit. Hopefully this step
is what it appears to be in that link above - a
formality. This page refers to operating from Panamanian
territory, and is silent on the topic of maritime mobile
operation from a Panamanian-flagged ship. Since a ship
can be considered an extension of the country of its
registration, this is hopefully not a problem in the eyes
of the Panamanian authorities.

On the other hand, I would not expect there is any chance
of obtaining permission to operate in Cozumel or Mexican
territorial waters. In the past couple of years, the
regulator for amateur licensing in Mexico changed. So far,
the new regulator (Federal Telecommunications Institute,
also known by abbreviations IFT or IFETEL) has not issued
new amateur licenses or permits. IFT has been renewing
existing amateur licenses, and even in the past the process
to get a temporary amateur permit to operate in Mexico was
not easy - or cheap.

In US territorial waters, it is simple. If you have a US
amateur license, or a foreign license recognized by the
FCC, you can operate.

All of this, of course, depends on having permission from
the ship's captain to use radio gear onboard. I did not
know that Carnival has a ham-friendly reputation, but that
was mentioned in a presentation given by Allen Mattis N5AFV
at the 2013 AMSAT Symposium in Houston. Allen talked about
his experiences operating from cruise ships and getting
licensed to operate from the ships (among other topics). A
video of that 2013 presentation is available at:


The slideshow from Allen's 2013 Symposium presentation
is available at:


This is an interesting plan for a Symposium, and being
able to operate on the ship would be a nice thing along
with the normal Symposium activities and the day in
Cozumel. It is good that the Symposium FAQ was updated
today with more information on the costs of the cruise,
beyond the $150 deposit.


Twitter: @WD9EWK

On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 11:57 PM, Clayton W5PFG <w5pfg at amsat.org> wrote:

> There will be published guidance for onboard operations in the months to
> come.  Being a Panama-flagged ship makes /HP operation fairly simple.

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