COTA - Castles On The Air
This is a program for those hams who have an interest in historical buildings. This program is known to call hams who want to show their interest and attention to the historical sites and contacting people. This program has been initiated by the World Castle Award Program in 2012. The historical buildings of medieval castles and fortresses are the major attraction in this program.
Why hams participate in COTA?
COTA is an international program in which hams from all over the world can participate for popularization of historical objects, such as castles, fortresses, etc. while collecting and spreading information about the condition and maintenance of monuments/architectural constructions relating to fortification. Radio hams participate in this award program due to different reasons, including their hobby to explore the historical places, to gain the experience, to collect awards, and to give their valuable participation in making people familiar with the fortification they have aired.
Rules of COTA
The Castles On the Air program is governed by some rules to ensure the valid participation by radio hams and their contribution to secure an award. Listed below are the rules of COTA:
- The purpose of the program is to drive attention towards historical monuments, architectural buildings, etc. So, radio hams from all over the world can participate in this award program to highlight historical places of their countries. These historical places can be type of monuments, including the places that could have been in the list of popular places, but due to some reasons, only a few people are aware of these beautiful / rare places. Radio hams can work on these historical places, share information about them, capture pictures, etc.
- Radio hams should cover the areas relating to fortification, which may include forts, castles, fortresses, etc. They can be permanent or field fortification.
- Radio hams can collect information about the fortification, objects related to them with strong sign of their existences or preservation.
- Activation must be done within 1 KM of the historical building / object. Going beyond will not be considered.
- Two or more objects can be activated if they are below the range of 1 KM or if the distance between them is less than 1 KM.
- Radio hams need not to contact the award committee when doing the activation; however, they must have records of the activation for submission, in case the committee has a doubt about the activation. The records will help you proof the activation on a particular object.
- Different frequencies are recommended in the COTA program.
CW: 3.531, 7.031, 10.121, 14.031, 18.081, 21.031, 24.911, 28.031
SSB: 3.731, 7.131, 14.251, 18.131, 21.251, 24.951, 28.551
- Activation of an object will be considered only once, regardless of the frequency. It means, repeated QSOs will not be considered valid, and only the first one will be undertaken.
- Rules for SWL are similar to COTA.
- QSO and SWL are valid on any band.
- If the radio hams want to apply for diploma, then the WCA application form has to be filled along with the information of QSL cards. The form must be signed by minimum two radio hams. Moreover, QSL should have an identification number of the castle / fortification according to the list of WCA codes. Moreover, the QSL cards that will have the object name or identification number are also valid for the diploma; however, the information should be according to the national castles and fortresses award program.
- The radio hams will have to fill-in the WCA application form to be eligible for award and to secure it.
Castles on the Air award can be given either in digital format (jpg file), which can be printed on A4 size paper or Print format. There are charges applicable for the print award.
There are different types of COTA award, which are decided based on the hams participation and the objects they have covered. The award displays the number of objects covered in steps by covering / working on the minimum 25 objects.