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Vessel Traffic Services

 

The IMO defines a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) as a service implemented by a Competent Authority, designed to improve the safety and efficiency of vessel traffic and to protect the environment. The service should have the capability to interact with the traffic and to respond to traffic situations developing in the VTS area. The IALA VTS Manual states that “The realities of modern shipping, with larger and less manoeuvrable ships, traffic congestion in ports and waterways, hazardous cargoes and the potential for environmental damage, demanded that sophisticated measures be taken to reduce risks. Establishing Vessel Traffic Services was and still is a significant response to that demand”.

The IMO identifies three types of service that can be provided by a VTS:

  • Information Service (INS)
  • Traffic Organisation Service (TOS)
  • Navigational Assistance Service (NAS)

The title of each service in each case is largely self-explanatory. In its simplest form, a VTS may provide basic information on which the master of the vessel bases his own decisions without further intervention from ashore.  More usually, however, a VTS is also directly involved in the organisation and management of vessel traffic within its area of responsibility. As part of these services, the VTS should provide an oversight of the navigational safety of vessels and provide navigational assistance and advice if appropriate.

The VTS should be manned by personnel nationally certificated to the internationally recognised IALA V103 course standard. The types of service provided by a VTS will be promulgated in appropriate hydrographic publications.

IALA International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities

IALA is a non-profit, international technical association. Established in 1957, it brings together authorities concerned with marine aids to navigation, as well as manufactures and consultants from all parts of the world, and offers them the opportunity to compare their experiences and achievements. IALA’s aim is to harmonize aids to navigation worldwide and to ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious, cost-effective and harmless to the environment. VTS documentation and standards in the form of standards, recommendations, guidelines, brochures and the VTS Manual are available free of charge for download under the “Publications” tab on the IALA website.

Aids to Navigation (AtoN)

Aids to navigation can take the form of fixed or floating marks that may be lit or unlit, including lighthouses, leading lines, buoys and beacons. A vessel traffic service (VTS) can also be categorised as an AtoN, albeit a very sophisticated and relatively costly one. The mix of AtoN used in a port or waterway is determined by means of a risk assessment, which takes into account the local geography, traffic patterns, vessel size and manoeuvrability, local hydrographic conditions and weather patterns. IALA publications include guidance on maintenance and location of AtoN.

Latest News & Events

It was reported from Cape Town towards the end of May that South Africa is emerging as a hub of training in marine aids to navigation (AtoNs) for other developing countries keen to establish their maritime transport sector as a safe, secure and environmentally sound pillar of socio-economic growth. This was clear from an address by David Gordon, Executive Manager: Lighthouse and Navigational Systems (LNS) of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at the Pre-Conference Forum of the 19th IALA Conference in Incheon, Republic of Korea on 26 May.  

More than 500 delegates attended the 19th IALA Conference which was held in the port city of Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 26 May to 2 June 2018. 

A total of 94 technical presentations were made in 13 technical sessions and two special sessions over four days, and Conference participants were able to see and discuss the latest developments in aids to navigation and VTS technology in the large industrial exhibition, where a record number of IALA Industrial Members exhibited.

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Vessel Traffic Services
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Environment

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Tanger Med

"Port Choice"

The 2017 seminar was a first in the history of our Committee, as it was held in the Moroccan port of Tanger Med. This was a consequence of the previous seminar in 2015, which was held in Marseille and where we reached out to our North African colleagues who are Harbour Masters, Port Captains and their deputies.

Tanger Med has built a leading hub port on the south shore of the Strait of Gibraltar. Beginning service in July 2007, the Tanger Med port is now operating amongst the world's leading ports.

 

Download includes
Programme en Francais Le program complèt du jeudi et vendredi 11 et 12 mai, séminaire EHMC, Tanger Med
Program in English - The full program for the Thursday and Friday 11 and 12 May 2017, EHMC seminar, Tanger Med

 

 

Marseille

On the occasion of the 2015 seminar in Marseille, we reached out to our North African colleagues who are Harbour Masters, Port Captains and their deputies. 

Le séminaire biennale de l’ EHMC est un événement sur deux jours qui permet aux Commandants des port Européens de se rencontrer pour se connaitre et échanger sur des sujets d'intérêt commun.

 

Download includes
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Press article  ’L’accueil des géants préoccupe les commandants de port’ le Marin, l’hebdomadaire de l’économie maritime  12 juin 2015
Press article  ’Le gigantisme cause commune des commandants de ports européens’ l’Antenne, les transports au quotidien   29 mai 2015
Presentation; Grand Port Maritime de Marseille -’Improve weather forecasts, more accurate navigation positioning, use of tugs, information to masters, improve experience’ AMAURY DE MAUPEOU, Harbour Master Port de Marseille et Marseille Fos
Presentation; The container ship market in 2015 ’Ultra-large box vessels: scaling effects in the container trade’ JAN TIEDEMANN, senior analyst liner shipping and ports, Alphaliner
Presentation; Le Port Tanger Med ’L’accueil dans le port des grands Porte-Conteneurs’ Cdt. KHALID SAMIR, Harbour Master Tanger Med Port Authority
Presentation; pilotage Marseille Fos “Piloter les plus grands navires dans le port en toute sécurité avec deux pilotes et la mise en œuvre du PPU” Capitaine NICOLAS PETIT, Pilot Station de Marseille Fos
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Presentation; IHMA Congress 2016 ’Theme; Port expansion, challenges and opportunities’ PAUL O’REGAN, IHMA congress papers committee Port of Cork
Presentation; Weather forecasts ’Improving weather and wind forecasts in ports’ PAUL HUTCHINSON Vaisala
Presentation; Weather forecasts Text version; ’Improving weather and wind forecasts in ports’ PAUL HUTCHINSON Vaisala
Presentation; The Mariner’s Handbook ’What is the maximum draught that can fit into the port?’ SUSIE ALDER, Product Manager UK Hydrographic Office
Participants Registrations until 21-5-2015
Full program EHMC seminar, in English The full program of the seminar, 28 May, and the technical visit on 29 May
Programme complète du séminaire EHMC, en Francais Le programme complète du séminaire le 28 mai et de la visite du port et cocktail le 29 mai
The Port of Marseille, in English Presentation brochure Marseille Fos; ’Global Port & Multi-Activities’

 

 

Bremen

"Adapting to changes; ships using LNG as fuel, reporting through a Single Window"

Andreas Mai has hosted a triple E-event in which one day knew the EHMC seminar, a second day was dedicated to the Green Efforts project and a third day to an ESPO MAS meeting. The EHMC Seminar was about;

  • the Harbour Master and ships using LNG as fuel
    For LNG marine fuelling and bunkering there is without doubt a very fast growing interest; studies by class societies even show a parallel in the development of LNG as a fuel with the changeover to oil as a fuel some 100 years ago (see for documents under the heading 'LNG'). One may easily loose the overview these days of all developments, feasibility studies and political demands.
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    Same applies to the implementation of the reporting directive that can be viewed as a compulsory introduction of electronic communication in the European maritime world.

 

Download includes
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LNG as a fuel for ships, Activities in the ports of Bremen Bjela König, Port Development Bremenports
WPCI LNG Working Group Bjela König, Port Development Bremenports
Simultaneous LNG bunkering and passenger operations Capt. Henrik Cars, Harbour Master Port of Stockholm
LNG–issues to be considered by Harbour Masters Jan Tellkamp - Det Norske Veritas
IT in ports -supporting business processes - since the ‘70s Andreas Mai
Directive on reporting formalities, implementation in Germany Uwe Kraft, deputy harbour master Bremen/Bremerhaven
Data collection and reporting esp. for smaller companies Peter Langbein, BSMD
EHMC Seminar program Please find here the full program for the EHMC seminar on 17 April 2013.
Participants EHMC Seminar The participants that registered for the EHMC seminar on 17 April so far.
EHMC seminar and Bremen events April 2013 Flyer with all information about the events, venues, hotel and travel. Digital version.

 

 

London, UK

"The Safe Port; information and education"

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When and how can Harbour Masters consult the SafeSeaNet system? 

UK Certificate of Competency for Harbour Masters 

Bachelor and Master degree for ex-seafarers aiming at a higher university degree 

EHMC and the ESPO Maritime Affairs & Security Committee 

European Nautical Platform 

EHMC film on Safe Mooring “the Missing Link, improving the mooring process" 

IHMA Nautical Port Information Project 

How do we improve IHMA's professional standing, members' involvement and members' benefits 

Gdansk, Poland

"Extreme Weather Decisions"

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Practical experience of Ports on the West Coast of Ireland resulting from the increasing number of violent winter storms Introduction 

EHMC video project, dealing with all issues related to the ship-shore interface 

EBA: “Mooring instructions in extreme weather conditions” 

CESMA; “Who in the end is responsible for admission decision when entering a port with storms of over force 8” 

Maritime Safety and Security Information Exchange Systems 

the IHMA “Quality Information Quality Port” 

Provision of additional shore moorings 

ETA: Extreme weather conditions and tug boat operations 

EMPA; “Challenges and limitations for pilots in extreme weather conditions”

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Latest News & Events

Green Point Lighthouse, Cape Town South Africa: a hub for Marine Aids to Navigation Training

It was reported from Cape Town towards the end of May that South Africa is emerging as a hub of training in marine aids to navigation (AtoNs) for other developing countries keen to establish their… FIND OUT MORE

IALA Conference Council The 19th IALA Conference

More than 500 delegates attended the 19th IALA Conference which was held in the port city of Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 26 May to 2 June 2018. 

A total of 94 technical presentations… FIND OUT MORE

Latest News & Events

It was reported from Cape Town towards the end of May that South Africa is emerging as a hub of training in marine aids to navigation (AtoNs) for other developing countries keen to establish their maritime transport sector as a safe, secure and environmentally sound pillar of socio-economic growth. This was clear from an address by David Gordon, Executive Manager: Lighthouse and Navigational Systems (LNS) of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at the Pre-Conference Forum of the 19th IALA Conference in Incheon, Republic of Korea on 26 May.  

More than 500 delegates attended the 19th IALA Conference which was held in the port city of Incheon, Republic of Korea, from 26 May to 2 June 2018. 

A total of 94 technical presentations were made in 13 technical sessions and two special sessions over four days, and Conference participants were able to see and discuss the latest developments in aids to navigation and VTS technology in the large industrial exhibition, where a record number of IALA Industrial Members exhibited.