Home (Global)On the AirWorld Amateur Radio Day

World Amateur Radio Day

Every April 18, radio ama­teurs world­wide take to the air­waves in cel­e­bra­tion of World Ama­teur Radio Day. It was on this day in 1925 that the Inter­na­tion­al Ama­teur Radio Union was formed in Paris.

Ama­teur Radio exper­i­menters were the first to dis­cov­er that the short wave spec­trum — far from being a waste­land — could sup­port world­wide prop­a­ga­tion. In the rush to use these short­er wave­lengths, Ama­teur Radio was “in grave dan­ger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s his­to­ry has not­ed. Ama­teur Radio pio­neers met in Paris in 1925 and cre­at­ed the IARU to sup­port Ama­teur Radio worldwide.

Just two years lat­er, at the Inter­na­tion­al Radiotele­graph Con­fer­ence, Ama­teur Radio gained the allo­ca­tions still rec­og­nized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters.  Since its found­ing, the IARU has worked tire­less­ly to defend and expand the fre­quen­cy allo­ca­tions for Ama­teur Radio. Thanks to the sup­port of enlight­ened admin­is­tra­tions in every part of the globe, radio ama­teurs are now able to exper­i­ment and com­mu­ni­cate in fre­quen­cy bands strate­gi­cal­ly locat­ed through­out the radio spec­trum.  From the 25 coun­tries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 mem­ber-soci­eties in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Mid­dle East, and North­ern Asia. Region 2 cov­ers the Amer­i­c­as, and Region 3 is com­prised of Aus­tralia, New Zealand, the Pacif­ic island nations, and most of Asia. The Inter­na­tion­al Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion Union (ITU) has rec­og­nized the IARU as rep­re­sent­ing the inter­ests of Ama­teur Radio.

Today, Ama­teur Radio is more pop­u­lar than ever, with more than 3,000,000 licensed operators!

World Ama­teur Radio Day is the day when IARU Mem­ber-Soci­eties can show our capa­bil­i­ties to the pub­lic and enjoy glob­al friend­ship with oth­er Ama­teurs worldwide.

World Ama­teur Radio Day 2024

IARU is very pleased to announce the theme of: “A Cen­tu­ry of Con­nec­tions: Cel­e­brat­ing 100 years of Ama­teur Radio Inno­va­tion, Com­mu­ni­ty, and Advo­ca­cy”.

IARU cel­e­brates its cen­te­nary in 2025. Since its found­ing in Paris, France, IARU has worked tire­less­ly to pro­mote inno­va­tion in ama­teur radio and to encour­age the growth of the ser­vice in com­mu­ni­ties through­out the world.

IARU has rep­re­sent­ed the Ama­teur Ser­vices at inter­na­tion­al and region­al reg­u­la­to­ry bod­ies by rely­ing on our vol­un­teers who come from many coun­tries and com­mu­ni­ties. IARU has been a sec­tor mem­ber of the ITU since 1932 and the work of our vol­un­teers has con­tin­ued since that date with unmatched suc­cess, as was high­light­ed with the accom­plish­ments at WRC-23.

Lead­ing up to our cen­te­nary year, we should take time to reflect on the remark­able achieve­ments of radio ama­teurs over the last 100 years. While the Ama­teur Ser­vices have been in oper­a­tion for over a cen­tu­ry, 1924 was the first year that inter­con­ti­nen­tal ama­teur com­mu­ni­ca­tion became more or less com­mon­place. Since that time radio ama­teurs have made unpar­al­leled advances in tech­nol­o­gy relat­ed to the Ama­teur Ser­vices that play a crit­i­cal role today in sus­tain­ing world-wide com­mu­ni­ca­tions and allow us to respond to glob­al emergencies. 

World Ama­teur Radio Day is an oppor­tu­ni­ty to reflect on our achieve­ments since 1924. We should cel­e­brate our diverse com­mu­ni­ty and the advances and inno­va­tions we have made as we look for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing the IARU cen­te­nary next year.

Print This Page Updated on February 19, 2024

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