Automatic identification systems to enhance maritime safety

DUBAI - With a view to enhance safety of ships, crew and passengers, and taking into account the higher security concerns worldwide, The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (Solas), has made Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and other security related ship borne navigational systems and equipment mandatory carriage requirement for all ships.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 15 Apr 2004, 12:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:37 AM

Solas is also considering to make mandatory the carriage of a Voyage Data Recorder by passenger ships on international voyages.

The Automatic Identification System and other security systems are some of the latest inventions designed to increase safety at sea, said Peter Martin, managing director of Nauticast, Austria, who will be conducting a seminar on Automatic Identification Systems during Gulf Maritime 2004 exhibition.

Automatic Identification Systems, for instance, are intended to automatically provide information (to appropriately equipped shore stations, other ships and aircraft) such as the ship's identity, type, position, course, speed, navigational status and other safety-related information; to receive such information from similarly fitted ships; and also to monitor and track ships, including the exchange of data with shore-based facilities, he said.

The mandatory carriage requirement under the Solas regulations requires the majority of ship owners, including those operating in the Middle East region, to become compliant by July 1st 2004 for the first fitting schedule, and December 31 2004 for the second fitting deadline.

These closing dates for vessel equipping apply to bulk carriers and tankers on July 1, and all other ships of more than 300 gross tonnes not later than December 31 2004. There are a total of approximately 30,000 ships worldwide, which will fall into the retrofitting schedule during the upcoming high season, he said.

Fasahat Ali Khan, deputy director-general of Expo Centre Sharjah said it was only two months left before the first deadline for the region's shippers to comply with the Solas regulation. This has generated an urgent need among executives and professionals from the region's maritime industry for the proper understanding of the AIS, Voyage Data Recorders and other ship borne navigational systems, how they are installed, synchronised with the ship's other systems, operated and maintained.

"As organisers of the coming Gulf Maritime exhibition at Expo Centre Sharjah, to be held from 19 to 21 April we responded to this need of the regional maritime industry by organising four seminars on Ship Safety and Security Technology, to be presented by renowned international experts from the maritime industry on the above topics," he added.

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