I am researching the possibility of doing a mini-DXpedition to one of the Pacific Islands. The overall intent of the operation is to have an adventure, not to activate “a rare one”. The focus has also been narrowed (at least initially) to US possessions. Going to a US possession will alleviate the need to get special operating licenses and/or permissions. Here are the prefixes for what is out in the Pacific:
KH0 Mariana Islands
KH1 Baker, Howland Islands
KH3 Johnston Island
KH4 Midway Island
KH5 Palmyra, Jarvis Islands
KH5/K Kingman Reef
KH7K Kure Island
KH8 American Samoa
KH8 Swains Island
KH9 Wake Island
There are a few of these I can eliminate immediately. KH1: Both Baker and Howland Islands have restricted access. I don’t have the time or energy to devote to get special permits and I am only going to go somewhere that has commercial aviation service. KH2: Guam offers this, but it is definitely not exotic enough of a location. KH3/KH4: Johnston and Midway Islands have restricted access and no commercial aviation service. KH5: Both Palmyra and Jarvis Islands are too complicated to get to. KH5/K: Kingman Reef – no way. KH6-7: Hawaii is in the same category as Guam. KH7K: Kure Island… see Kingman Reef. KH8: Swains Island (which probably has one of the most unique stories) is privately owned with no regular commercial service. KH9: Wake Island is a distant possibility because it still has active military and AMC flights, although I would have to get official permission – which is unlikely (but not impossible).
The best candidates are KH0: Mariana Islands and KH8: American Samoa. The Mariana Islands (with Siapan, Tinian, and Rota as the only islands that I am looking at) are probably the easiest for me to get to. Siapan has direct flights from Seoul and is a tourist destination for Koreans. From Siapan there are regular commercial flights to both Tinian and Rota. Both these islands also have lodging possibilities as well.
American Samoa will take a bit more traveling – no direct flights. But it is definitely possible to get there and lodging is no issue.
So the islands in the running are now:
KH0 Mariana Islands CQ 27 ITU 64
KH8 American Samoa CQ 32 ITU 62
KH9 Wake Island CQ 31 ITU 65
The time for the trip will probably be April and I think I would go for 10 days. Now it is time for more research.