IMO: Navigation Safety

The IMO Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation has continued work on e-navigation, work on electronic symbols to aid navigation has been finalised

Progress on safety of navigation in the IMO

At the meeting of the IMO Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV) the work on e-navigation was continued, and the work on electronic symbols for aid to navigation purposes was finalised.


The Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation had an intensive debate on e-navigation. The purpose of e-navigation is to rethink the manner in which onboard navigation systems are organised and to modernize the ship-shore communication and information systems. Denmark contributed to the deliberations, inter alia by making a presentation on future maritime communication structures, “the Maritime Cloud”, together with Norway, Sweden and Finland. The presentation was well-attended, and new initiatives were presented and later debated at the subsequent reception. Here, the participants could also see specific examples of e-navigation on the electronic screens mounted.

In general, the Sub-Committee decided to continue its work on an e-navigation implementation plan. In this connection, Denmark will – together with France – coordinate the ongoing work on the Maritime Cloud concept.


Standard for AIS symbols for navigation purposes

The Sub-Committee approved a common policy on the use of electronic symbols (AIS) for navigation. For example, a buoy or a wreck can now be marked by means of electronic symbols on the radar on certain ships. In case of a new wreck where a wreck buoy has not yet been mounted, electronic symbols can illustrate the wreck and, thereby, prevent a ship from colliding with the wreck. A number of countries, including Denmark, had previously expressed concern that IMO standards on the use of electronic symbols were not available.

Another issue of special interest were recent surveys that have identified operational anomalies in the use of systems for electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS). Especially, the updating of ECDIS software attracted attention and will, consequently, be debated at the next meeting to be held in 2014.

Source: DMA (Danish Maritime Authority)

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