Introduction to NTS
NTS or the National Traffic System was created by the ARRL in cooperation
with ARES as a message handling system used to handle traffic
in both routine and emergency communication situations.
NTS is a very formal and structured system of message handling
used in both normal and emergency communication situations.
There are four types of traffic messages:
1.) Emergency Traffic:
Used only when it is a life or death situation. Any
means of getting the message to its proper location
as quickly as possible. If there is any doubt do NOT
use this type of message.
2.) Priority Traffic:
Used for extremely high precedent traffic but DOES
follow normal rules of NTS message handling.
3.) Health & Welfare Traffic:
Used after a disaster has caused a major disruption
to normal communications. Most of this traffic is handled
AFTER the disaster's emergency, and priority traffic
has been handled.
4.) Routine Traffic:
Normal messages handled outside of emergency
communications. The routine messages and
handling is used as practice for emergency
Traffic messages are usually handled on a local level, and depending
on where the message is going, gets elevated to the region net and then
an interregion net where by cross-country and international traffic is
This is just a short summary and introduction to the National Traffic
System. For more information please contact Section Traffic Manager,
Bill Wornham, NZ1D at:
Jim Hatherly, WA1TBY, former Eastern Massachusetts Section Traffic
Manager, stepped down from the position after over 20 years as
Eastern Mass. Section Traffic Manager. He stepped down as he is
preparing to battle cancer which he was diagnosed with in the
summer of 1999. We wish him the best of luck fighting this dreaded
disease. Jim will still be on many of the NTS traffic nets as long
as he is able to be on those nets and he will be happy to help you
with any NTS questions as well.
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator for NWS Taunton
SEMCARES Emergency Coordinator
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