Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
In mid-February IALA reported that the latest edition of the IALA VTS Manual is now available. This is the seventh edition of a publication first issued in 1993.
The purpose of this publication is to assist Contracting Governments, Competent Authorities and VTS Authorities in the harmonizing the delivery of Vessel Traffic Services worldwide by providing a comprehensive overview on all aspects relating to the provision of VTS.
In particular, the Manual provides guidance on:
The Manual is also aimed at a wide readership to encompass all who are in any way involved with the policy for provision, operation and effectiveness of VTS, including those with management responsibility at national level and those who deliver services to the mariner.
The VTS Manual is intended to complement IALA documentation relating to VTS.
It is not intended to replicate the information and guidance in these documents or be prescriptive about the practices described within them. Rather, it provides a roadmap to assist authorities meet their obligations for the establishment and operation of VTS in a consistent manner.
Key IALA documentation associated with this Manual may be found on the IALA web site here: www.iala-aism.org
The Manual is a product of collaboration by the world’s leading experts through the (IALA) VTS Committee, which has the primary oversight for its compilation and editing.
‘The membership represents most of the world’s leading national maritime authorities whose delegates are widely experienced VTS professionals. The VTS Committee is also supported through participation from relevant international sister organizations. This ensures that the Committee is able to speak with international authority on VTS matters and, importantly, to develop new procedures to meet the emerging needs for modern traffic management and to enhance maritime safety.’
Note: It is recognised that the review of IMO Resolution A.857(20) is currently underway by the IMO and IALA will be updating this manual subject to the new Resolution coming into effect.
Aids to Navigation (AtoN) have evolved over time.
As new technology emerges, asset managers have a large range of options and features to consider. This document identifies how clever AtoN design and functionality can help authorities reduce operational costs and improve the visibility of their connected devices.
Aids to Navigation (AtoN) play a pivotal role in maritime safety and extend much further than being the traffic lights of the sea.
We are a long way from the days of a traditional lighthouse whose kerosene lamp served as a simple warning of danger ahead.
The navigational tools available to mariners today are vast and they continue to evolve as new technologies are realized.
Types of AtoN
Congestion within the world’s ports and shipping channels continues to grow, with the maritime industry relying on AtoN to ensure navigational safety and to manage traffic conditions.
On 2 March the (UK) Maritime & Coastguard Agency issued the eleven-page document entitled: MIN 656 (M): Understanding the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing.
This Marine Information Note (MIN) provides guidance for ship owners on the stressors which have been created or exacerbated by the conditions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and provides some mitigating strategies.
The document provides information on the potentially long-lasting and far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing. It provides guidance for ship owners on the stressors which have been created or exacerbated by the conditions throughout the pandemic and provides some mitigating strategies.
In this document the term ship owner is used in the sense that it is used in health and safety regulation, as the person responsible for the operation of the ship.
This is often the same organisation as the ‘company’ referred to in the ISM code.