Search the IAIN Database on news
IAIN and CIRM MoU
20 February 2017

On 8 February IAIN Secretary General Simon Gaskin signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Comité International Radio-Maritime (CIRM), led by Frances Baskerville, Secretary General. At the same time we welcomed CIRM as a Corresponding Member of IAIN and send good wishes for a long and fruitful association.

Established in 1928 CIRM exists to promote the application of electronic technology for the safety of life and efficient conduct of vessels at sea. Furthermore, the organisation strives to foster relations between all organisations concerned with electronic aids to marine navigation, communications and information systems.
The organisation, with its origins in Spain in 1928, was first formed by eight companies engaged in the application of radio to sea transport. It was reconstituted in Belgium in 1947 and subsequently moved to London where it is now based at 202 Lambeth Road, SE 1 within the same building as the Nautical Institute and not far from IMO where it has consultative status.

US ION Executive Committee and Council 2017-2019
06 February 2017

The (US) ION announced from Manassas, Virginia, on 2 February 2017 its Executive Committee and Council for 2017-2019. Committee and Council consist of a wide range of professionals in the field of positioning, navigation and timing.
Lisa Beaty, Executive Director of ION commented: 'ION is excited with the talented and distinguished group of professionals that hail from all segments of the PNT community who are giving their time to serve on the ION Executive Committee and Council.'

The Navigator launches S-Mode survey
03 February 2017

The latest issue of The Navigator, number 14, published in the first week of February by The Nautical Institute, aims to raise awareness of the future of navigation technology. The Institute is working to introduce a standard setting (S-Mode) for all navigational systems and is inviting seafarers to contribute to a short online survey. S-Mode would help navigators operate and understand navigation functions in all vessels.
The S-Mode survey can be found at here and the results will be included in a report that will be presented to the IMO.
Emma Ward, Editor of The Navigator, said: 'Imagine going to the bridge of a ship as a new arrival and finding that you are unfamiliar with the ECDIS or radar systems. This could seriously affect competence and safety. That is why The Nautical Institute is joining with other organisations to urge the IMO to establish a single set of S-Mode guidelines, and why the topic of S-Mode is thoroughly explored in this issue of The Navigator.'

The 2017 IMO Award for exceptional bravery at sea
03 February 2017

In common with many organisations we at IAIN have been requested by IMO to cooperate with promotion and to encourage the submission of nominations for the 2017 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.
It is the aim of the organisers to reach a wider audience, which it is hoped, will bring to light further candidates who deserve to be nominated for this prestigious Award. The promotional flyer contains two links: one for the guidelines (Circular Letter No.3676) and the other for the nomination form.

2017 World Economic Forum Davos
24 January 2017

ICAO Secretary General Dr Fang Liu participated in the 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in week ending 21 January, contributing ICAO and aviation sector perspectives to panel discussions on the Future of Travel and the Roadmap to Clean Mobility.
Dr Liu was invited to join the inaugural WEF Board of Stewards meeting on the Shaping the Future of Mobility System Initiative, the objective of which was to accelerate the transformation to a clean, safe, secure, inclusive and smart global mobility system.

Integrated civil and military air navigation services
19 January 2017
photo: EUROCONTROL ©

As from the beginning of the year, air traffic controllers at EUROCONTROL's Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) are now providing integrated civil and military air navigation services in the Hannover Upper Information Region (UIR) - the upper airspace (above 24,500 feet) of the north-west of Germany. This was announced from EUROCONTROL's HQ in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Overarching objectives of the integration are to improve the air traffic management system for the benefit of both civil and military airspace users and to achieve economies of scale for all parties involved. Airspace being a finite resource, an integrated civil-military system will also generate positive effects for the European network.

11th IHMA Congress 2018
16 January 2017

A call for papers has been issued and the International Harbour Masters' Association (IHMA) advises that the deadline for submission of abstracts is 19 May 2017. Submissions are invited for abstracts of 400-600 words length in respect of a proposed paper in a potential delegate's area of expertise.
Addressing the theme Ports - essential for safe, efficient and secure global trade, the Congress programme will be designed to appeal to all responsible for the safe, secure and efficient conduct of marine operations in ports and industry organisations working with, or within, ports across all levels of the industry.
Here is an opportunity for the presentation of ideas, case studies and technical research on innovations that will promote safe, efficient and secure maritime logistics, improve cooperation between ports and ships, develop best practice, and raise global standards for the safety, security and efficiency of ports.

A New Year message from Yasuo Arai, President of IAIN
31 December 2016

Last year I began my message by commenting on the proliferation of autonomous marine systems. That proliferation has continued apace. To date they have been mostly small craft pre-programmed for scientific research but aspirations are growing and so is the size of vessels intended to be remotely controlled or, indeed, autonomous. IAIN is engaging in this area, most specifically by supporting the UK Marine Autonomous Systems (MAS) Regulatory Working Group to evolve a regulatory framework that will enable developers to plan their projects so as to be compliant with those regulations.

Despite activity in the US intended to encourage industry to develop a suitable non-space-based timing and positioning system to complement GNSS and the evident deliberate and significant interference to GNSS signals in some parts of the world, there does not yet seem to be a commercially viable system available for consideration. With the advent of more, and larger, MAS the necessity for a reliable timing and navigation backup to space-based positioning is evermore starkly obvious. The only system presently developed enough that it could deliver a solution to this requirement is e-LORAN. For the users, the elegant way to encompass eLORAN would be to develop a multi-system receiver capable of processing signals from some or all of the major GNSS (GPS, GALILEO, GLONASS, COMPASS) and the Regional Navigation Satellite Systems (QZSS, IRNS (or NAVIC)) and eLORAN, for they all use similar correlation techniques and they are each suitable for land, sea and air platforms.

We wish a happy, successful and safe New Year to all our Members and readers.

Yasuo Arai,
(Japan Institute of Navigation)
IAIN President

The full message can be found here.

UK Parliament Transport Select Committee's new inquiry
30 December 2016
New experimental statistics presenting findings on civilian search and rescue helicopter (SARH) taskings were announced by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency during 2016. - photo kindly made available here from www.gov.uk©

In the UK's House of Commons, the Transport Committee announced it is launching a new inquiry into industry and government action in response to Maritime Growth Study, a report on the UK's maritime sector, published by the Department for Transport in September 2015.
This report was the culmination of an in-depth study of the whole UK maritime sector: shipping and ports, and the range of associated business services. It set out a number of recommendations designed to ensure the UK maintains its status as a world-leading maritime centre, and can take advantage of opportunities for global growth.
It was therefore announced that the Transport Committee intends to monitor progress towards implementation of the study's recommendations, and consider the adequacy of the overall strategy for the UK maritime sector, including in the context of the UK leaving the European Union.

In mid-2016 the Maritime & Coastguard Agency announced that it had undertaken a review of the way it carries out its ship surveys and inspections. - photo kindly made available here from www.gov.uk©
Advice on drones - introducing the EASA
28 December 2016

Popularly known as drones, but also referred to as remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from small handheld types up to large aircraft, potentially a similar size to airliners.
Just like any other aircraft, an unmanned aircraft must always be flown in a safe manner, both with respect to other aircraft in the air and also to people and properties on the ground. In the UK it is the primary aim of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to enable the full and safe integration of all UAS operations into the UK's total aviation system.
Guidance for keeping drone flight safe and legal, including flying drones for fun (on non-commercial flights), is to be found here.

Introducing the EASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency
EASA's mission is to ensure both the highest common level of safety protection for EU citizens and the highest common level of environmental protection. This is achieved with a single regulatory and certification process among Member States which, in turn, facilitates the internal aviation single market in order to create a level playing field. At the same time the Agency works with other international aviation organisations and regulators.
Tasks of EASA include the drafting of rules in all fields pertinent to the EASA mission. Furthermore, the Agency certifies and approves products and organisations in fields where EASA has exclusive competence, for example in airworthiness.
EASA's Geo-Limitation Task Force Report can be found here.

Galileo delivers globally
21 December 2016
ESA signing Galileo agreements with EU GNSS Agency (GSA) and the EC, on 15 December 2016. From left to right: Jan Woerner, ESA Director General; Carlo des Dorides, Executive Director of the European GNSS Agency (GSA); Lowri Evans, Director-General of the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission. ESA has overseen the design and deployment of Galileo on behalf of the Commission, with system operations and service provision due to be entrusted to the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency next year. ©ESA Id 370933

Early in December the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that Europe's own Galileo satellite navigation system had begun operating, with the satellites delivering positioning, navigation and timing information to users around the globe.
On 9 December the European Commission, owner of the system, formally announced the start of Galileo Initial Services, the first step towards full operational capability. Further launches will continue to build the satellite constellation, which will gradually improve the system performance and availability worldwide.

Think Climate Coalition international conference
20 December 2016

Climate change is an important and growing focus of attention. The Paris Agreement on climate change, which came into force on 4 November 2016, is an ambitious international agreement that aims to combat climate change and adapt to its effects. Coming years are likely to see massive efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move to low carbon solutions across all sectors: navigation infrastructure is no exception. Notwithstanding the Paris Agreement, however, it is also widely agreed that continuing change in certain climate parameters is now unavoidable. Resilience will need to be strengthened and waterborne transport infrastructure will need to adapt.

The PIANC-led Think Climate Coalition announced on 20 December a major international climate change conference dedicated to the interests of waterborne transport infrastructure owners, operators and users. The event will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Brussels, Belgium on 27/28 March, 2017.

Maritime Safety Committee, 97th meeting
15 December 2016

The 97th session of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) was held at IMO HQ in London from 21-25 November.

Among other issues, these recommendations stand out:
- The MSC adopted recommendations on the safe carriage of more than 12 industrial personnel on board vessels engaged on international voyages, aimed at addressing the safe and efficient transfer of technicians at sea, such as those working in the growing offshore alternative energy sector.
- Also adopted were recommendations for carriage of liquefied hydrogen in bulk, as the International Gas Carrier (IGC) Code lacks specific hydrogen requirements.
- Subject to IMO Assembly confirmation, the MSC adopted amendments on a recommendation to Governments to take into account safety of navigation when multiple structures at sea, such as wind turbines, are being planned.
- Amendments were approved to update the International SafetyNET and the NAVTEX Manuals. SafetyNET is the international automatic direct-printing satellite-based service for the promulgation of Maritime Safety Information (MSI), navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts and other urgent safety related messages to ships, including SAR information. NAVTEX provides coastal shipping, via terrestrial means, with similar messages above by automatic display or printout from a dedicated receiver.
- The MSC approved a circular expressing grave concern over the reported launch of missiles by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea without due warnings.

Navigation assessments - a guide to best preactice
11 December 2016
Navigation assesments: a guide to best practice

Many maritime incidents could have been prevented by the use of a navigation assessment. The way that an assessment should be conducted to the best advantage of ship operator and crew alike is the subject of a new book published by The Nautical Institute.
Navigation Assessments: A Guide to best practice explains how an assessment conducted in a positive and constructive way can provide tangible benefits for maritime safety while contributing to the professional development of bridge team members.
The use of the term 'assessment' rather than 'audit' is intended to emphasise the positive and to encourage crews to be truthful with assessors. An assessment should be conducted over several days at sea so that the assessor can gain an understanding of the culture on board and identify the navigation team members' strengths and weaknesses. Coaching, consultation and feedback between assessor and bridge team can break down barriers and build stronger safety cultures.

MLA College wins Gold Award
04 December 2016

It was reported on 1 December that Marine Learning Alliamce College had won the Gold award for the Best Online Distance Learning Programme at the Learning Technologies Awards 2016 in London on 30 November for their submission: Delivering degrees to seafarers without internet.
The panel of independent academics judging the submission were impressed with the way MLA College combined innovative technology with traditional academic tutoring that was personalised to each student, enabling a whole new generation of seafarers to gain a higher qualification whilst remaining in their full-time job.
The Awards gathered 800 people to celebrate the best learning technologies across the world, with shortlisted entries from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, USA, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Spain and Italy.

Light in the darkness
29 November 2016

Light in the darkness: a history of lightships and the people who served on them by Liam Clarke. This 160 page paperback examines the origins of the lightship services of Great Britain and Ireland, the obstacles and prejudices that faced originators of the idea and the subsequent development of the vessels and working practices over the years.
Dr Clarke has certainly been dedicated in his extensive research and uses in many places his own illustrations.
Since Hamblin's lightship of 1731 the dangerous occupation of lightsman has claimed the lives of a number of crews and those who tried to save them in peace and in war. The lives and working conditions of the brave men who put their lives at risk guiding ships safely to their ports without peril, has been almost forgotten although some of the ships in which they fared continue to serve the mariner in an automated state monitored from shore. Indeed, some have hulls half a century old, testament surely, to sound materials and good ship husbandry.
Orders may be placed at Amberley Publishing.

OMC Int.-MetOcean Solutions alliance announces new products
24 November 2016

OMC International and its new alliance partner MetOcean Solutions announced on 21 November the launch of three new products to help ports and harbours manage under-keel clearance (UKC), the mooring of berthed ships, and weather-related risks.
OMC International's CEO Peter O'Brien said: 'These are products that we have had on the drawing board for a number of years in response to customer requests, and our alliance with MetOcean Solutions has helped provide the momentum and support to bring them to market. We are offering these products alongside our flagship DUKC® to assist a wider range of ports and harbours, both in our home markets of Australia and New Zealand as well as internationally.'
The new products are: * KeelCheck, a simple calculator which helps ports which have not made the step to DUKC® assess the safe clearance of their traditional UKC rules; * PortWeather, an integrated environmental data management system which will attach to ports' existing sensors and provide measurements and portspecific forecast data to displays in the port and internet-connected mobile devices; and * BerthAlert, a comprehensive forecasting and monitoring solution for berthed ships.

More detail and the opportunity for free trial accounts on OMC's site.

NTSB safety alert on midair collisions
20 November 2016

On 16 November the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a Safety Alert to pilots with suggestions on what they can do to reduce their chances of being involved in a midair collision.
In an effort to illustrate the limitations of the "see and avoid" concept of aircraft separation, the NTSB created a series of animations, available on YouTube and a presentation, depicting the pilots' visual field of view from each of the four airplanes involved in two midair collisions that were investigated by the NTSB in 2015. The animations show how difficult it can be for pilots to spot converging aircraft that may present a midair collision risk in a dynamic visual environment.

Further information available here

Red Arrows China finale
13 November 2016
Photo: MOD Crown Copyright 2016©

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team finished with a spectacular flypast involving all nine jets trailing red smoke, to draw an end to its six-day appearance at Airshow China in Zhuhai on 5 November. The displays at the event have made history, being the first time the Red Arrows have visited China and taking the number of countries in which the squadron has performed to 57 since 1965.
Squadron Leader David Montenegro, Team Leader and Red 1, said: 'The team has flown nine public displays in China, in six days. In my time as Team Leader that is a first. China has offered a beautiful display site at Zhuhai. To fly those displays back-to-back has been a real pleasure. Every single day the weather has been great.'
The visit to China forms part of a major, 60-day tour to the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions by the Red Arrows. It is the team's largest overseas tour in almost a decade and is aimed at supporting and promoting UK interests across defence, industry, trade and education.

UNCTAD News No. 71
07 November 2016
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has issued its Third Quarter 2016 Transport & Trade Facilitation newsletter. This 25-page document contains the usual wealth of sound information on trade and logistics. Africa is particularly well served with pages on activities in Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan, Liberia, Rwanda and elsewhere.
Of particular interest is a one page piece on seaborne trade in 2015 where it is reported that for the first time in UNCTAD's record world seaborne trade exceeded 10 billion tons. Another article outlines the underlying causes for the demise of Hanjin Shipping following its recent insolvency.
John Pottle to become fifth RIN Director
04 November 2016

On 23 October the London-based Royal Institute of Navigation (RIN) announced that John Pottle will be joining the staff as its fifth Director.
Current Director Captain Peter Chapman-Andrews will be handing over the reins to John Pottle on 1 January, 2017.
John joins the RIN from Spirent Communications plc where he has served as Marketing Director of the Positioning Technology business unit since 2003. Spirent is best known for its leading portfolio of GPS/GNSS simulators and helps technology developers improve the performance and resiliency of their positioning, timing and navigation systems.

EfficienSea2 - just time to register
03 November 2016

With a couple of days left to register, the organisers of EfficienSea2 have now published the final programme for the EfficienSea2 conference to be held in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, Denmark from 8-9 November 2016 with the theme: Getting connected to the future.
This event will provide the first opportunity for delegates to experience what steps EfficienSea2 has taken towards connecting with the future of maritime communication. Beta versions of the Maritime Cloud and BalticWeb will be demonstrated, and all participants will get a chance to engage with the 32 partners in the project.

23 ECDIS ACAT courses now available off-line
14 February 2017

IAIN Corporate Member ECDIS Ltd have further developed their successful, not for profit, Annual Competency Assurance Training (ACAT) courses by introducing an offline version.
Listening to the requirements of many of their clients with little or no internet onboard, ECDIS Ltd have developed an efficient offline solution of all of ACAT courses, removing the need for constant internet connection. It is understood that the courses share the exact same content as their online counterparts. However the courses can be purchased and downloaded ashore or when Internet is available, and run on any Windows PC for up to 365 days, making this a highly versatile solution for many shipping companies, who do not yet have internet access at sea for their seafarers to complete their training needs when away from home/college.

6th Resilient PNT Forum report
05 February 2017

The sixth meeting of the Resilient PNT Forum took place in Glasgow, prior to the Royal Institute of Navigation's (RIN) International Navigation Conference (INC). Martin Bransby (GLA R&RNAV) chaired the meeting, which drew approximately 50 participants.
An address of welcome was given by Professor Yasou Arai (IAIN President). Martin Bransby read statements from Professor Bertrand Merminod (Chairman of EUGIN) and Michael Card (IALA Deputy Secretary General). The welcoming comments emphasised the need for resilient PNT and that it requires cooperation to succeed, not just cooperation in working together to promote resilience, but also between different navigation and timing systems.

Congratulations to Professor Uri Shaked
03 February 2017

We send our congratulations to Professor Uri Shaked on his declaration as the winner of the 2017 Israel Prize in Engineering.
The President of the Israeli Association for Automatic Control (IAAC, a Full Member of IAIN) has sent the following for which we are most grateful:
Professor Uri Shaked from the Department of Electrical Engineering-Systems, The Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University, is the recipient of the 2017 Israel Prize in Engineering.
Professor Shaked is a world-renowned leading scientist in control theory. His groundbreaking contributions to modern optimal control in the presence of uncertainties are pivotal in many engineering disciplines, ranging from automatic flight control to stability of distributed systems for energy management.

Inaugural World Transport Convention
26 January 2017

The inaugural World Transport Convention (WTC, flyer here), hosted by China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), Ministry of Transport of China (MOT) and Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), will focus on comprehensive, smart, green and safe transport with The Belt & Road initiative as a key highlight. This event will cover many technical aspects of transport systems, ranging from policy to construction, from management to cross-cutting issues.
WTC aims to establish an international platform for transportation researchers, practitioners and government officials to share academic ideas and findings, to exchange successful practices and managerial trials, and to explore business opportunities and global cooperation.
IAIN Member, China Institute of Navigation, is one of the main organizing bodies for WTC 2017 and the co-chair of the Organizing Committee is Dr Youfang Huang, President of China Institute of Navigation and President of Shanghai Maritime University.

EfficienSea2 booking
20 January 2017

When mv Pearl Seaways departs Copenhagen on 31 January for her passage to Oslo, returning on 2 February, participants at the onboard conference known as e-Navigation Underway International 2017 will get a chance to learn more about EfficienSea2. Many project partners will be present at the conference to put focus on the future of e-Navigation.
This conference is co-hosted by IALA and the Danish Maritime Authority, both involved in the EfficienSea2 project, and is well-suited for highlighting latest developments in the work being carried out within EfficienSea2.
It is understood that there are some places available on this afloat conference and the organisers are doing much to ensure participants have access to the Maritime Cloud, to enable them to learn more about the first fully complete end-user service.

Welcome RNTF and UKMPA
16 January 2017
We extend a warm welcome to two new Corresponding Members of IAIN: RNTF and UKMPA. They joined us in the first few days of the New Year and may their time with us be fruitful.

The Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation is based in Alexandria, Virginia, USA, established as a non-profit, public benefit, educational and scientific charity.
RNTF has an ambitious and aggressive outreach programme to members of the public, the navigation and timing industry, and policy makers in legislatures and administrations. Each week the organisation meets with Congressional staffs in Washington, DC, talking to staff within the executive branch of the US government, conferring with industry representatives, and corresponding with partner individuals and organisations supporting resilient navigation and timing across the globe.

The United Kingdom Maritime Pilots' Association (UKMPA) is the representative professional body for maritime pilots in the United Kingdom. Marine pilots are highly skilled experts authorised to pilot ships in their respective districts. Taking the navigational conduct of the world's largest vessels during the often most hazardous part of their voyage. The fundamental purpose of maritime pilotage is to ensure safety, security, environmental protection and port efficiency.

We send congratulations to Captain Donald Patrick Cockrill, Secretary-General of UKMPA who was appointed MBE in HM The Queen's New Year Honours List for voluntary services to maritime pilotage and the port industry.

USS Carl Vinson CSG scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific
08 January 2017
On 5 January sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) man the rails as the ship departs her homeport of San Diego. The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is departing on a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific where it will conduct bilateral exercises in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. - US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Daniel Jackson Norgart/Released©

Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, and embarked Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 1 have been deployed with Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112) and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).
While deployed, the Carl Vinson CSG will remain under US 3rd Fleet command and control, including beyond the International Date Line which previously divided operational areas of responsibility for the 3rd and the 7th Fleets. Third Fleet operating forward offers additional options to the Pacific Fleet commander by leveraging the capabilities of the 3rd and the 7th Fleets. This operational concept allows both numbered fleets to complement one another and provide the foundation of stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Manchester and Hyderabad airports become carbon neutral
30 December 2016
Airport World, the magazine of the Airports Council International (ACI)

- Manchester Airport becomes the first carbon neutral airport in the UK;
- Hyderabad Airport becomes second carbon neutral airport in India and wider Asia-Pacific region;
- 37% of air passengers worldwide now travel through airports certified under the four levels of the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme.

Hot on the heels of the recent COP22 climate negotiations there have been announcement of two airports becoming carbon neutral: Manchester Airport and Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Both have now achieved carbon neutral status (Level 3+), certified by the independent carbon management programme known as Airport Carbon Accreditation.
This brings the total number of carbon neutral airports around the world to 27, while the overall programme now counts 176 airports across the four available levels of certification.

The Airport Carbon Accreditation programme - launched by the airport association ACI EUROPE in 2009 - certifies airports at four different levels of accreditation covering all stages of carbon management (i) Mapping; (ii) Reduction; (iii) Optimisation and (iv) + Neutrality). It is independently administered and has the support of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the European Union (EU) and others.

ENC 2017 - latest news
30 December 2016

The local organising committee of ENC2017 is progressing well with the preparation of the scientific programme for this event to be held in Lausanne from 9-12 May next. With the launch of the Galileo initial services and the evolution of the GNSS programmes the conference will have an exciting opening session and panel discussion on GNSS, it is understood.

Please note: The deadline for submitting a paper to ENC 2017 has been extended to 24 January, see the submission details for authors and the Call for Papers.
Dedicated sessions may be included in the programme, typically those associated with European Projects. Those with interests here are invited to contact Pierre-Yves Gilliéron directly at: pierre-yves.gillieron _ at _ epfl.ch.

EUROCONTROL highlights of 2016
26 December 2016

The EUROCONTROL Network Manager covers the whole of Europe - from Ireland to Armenia and from Morocco to Finland. It handles over ten million flights a year with summer peaks of over 34,000 a day. That means an aircraft is taking off or entering European airspace every three seconds. Inevitably, there are bottlenecks. These may be in particularly busy parts of airspace or at some airports at some times of day. Any disruption, such as a runway out of action, fog, a thunderstorm or technical failure, can result in difficulties.
The Network Manager receives flight plans for all the commercial flights in its area and also receives the declared capacity limits for air traffic control centres and airports across the continent. So for example if an airport has snow or fog, it may reduce the rate at which aircraft can land. This is called a regulation. The Network Manager then looks at the whole picture and problem areas are identified - where the demand is greater than the capacity.
One solution of course is to see if the capacity can be increased. So if a controller is covering a large area and the traffic is expected to be at the limit of how many aircraft can safely be handled at a single controller position, then that area might be split into two sectors, with two controllers or teams of controllers each covering part of the traffic.

Readers are invited to take a look at a review of EUROCONTROL's highlights of 2016.

ICAO on UAS's (drones)
20 December 2016

Aimed at assisting consumers and remote pilots regardless of their skills and experience, the ICAO launched from its Montréal HQ on 13 December its new Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Toolkit on the occasion of International Civil Aviation Day.
Commented ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu: 'The resources this new toolkit makes available are designed to help UAS operators of all ages operate their aircraft safely and responsibly. The importance of recognizing that these devices are aircraft, and of integrating their use safely with existing manned operations, should not be underestimated.'
Given that UAS, informally referred to as drones, can be mistakenly and often illegally operated by less-informed pilots around airports and other areas of controlled or sensitive airspace, ICAO has been taking steps to help minimize their risks. Its new UAS Toolkit is much more than a starting point for learning the basics of their safe operation.

Satellite trials in Euro ATC
20 December 2016
photo: ©INMARSAT Id 371180

It was announced on 20 December that the European Space Agency (ESA) had recently completed its first flight trials using satellites to help bring Europe closer to its goal of modernising air traffic control. These trials are part of the public-private partnership between ESA and UK satellite operator INMARSAT to deliver high-capacity secure digital data links via satellite for air-ground communications for cockpit crews over European airspace under ESA's Iris Precursor programme.
It is understood that by 2019, Iris Precursor will provide air-ground communications for initial 4D flight path control, pinpointing an aircraft in four dimensions: latitude, longitude, altitude and time. This will enable precise tracking of flights and more efficient management of traffic.

CERGAL 2017
12 December 2016
DGON logo

The major milestones on the road to the successful operational rollout of Satellite Navigation systems like GPS/EGNOS, Galileo, GLONASS and Compass (Beidou) are the qualification and certification of mission and safety critical applications.
The German Institute of Navigation DGON is offering an international symposium on certification of GNSS systems and services.
CERGAL 2017 will be held on 5-6 July 2017 at the European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany.

For abstract submission and all details see dgon-cergal.org.

EfficienSea2 mid-term conference report
09 December 2016
By Dr. Nick Ward FRIN AFNI CEng CITP

EfficienSea 2 is an three-year EU Horizon 2020 funded project led by the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA), with 32 partners. Its mid-term conference was held in Copenhagen on 8 and 9 November 2016, aiming to give both industry and other actors outside the project a chance to become familiar with and give feedback on the e-Navigation solutions being developed by EfficienSea2.
'Safe connectivity made easy' were the defining words of the conference. Two platforms - the Maritime Cloud and the BalticWeb - were released in BETA versions and demonstrated with a number of services.

The Maritime Cloud was the first thing to be demonstrated at the conference. Consisting of a service registry, an identity registry and a management portal, the Maritime Cloud will make it possible to connect the end user of services with the service providers in a way which is both user friendly and safe.

The BalticWeb was introduced as a platform for e-navigation services. Demonstrations were given of harmonized, digital navigation services, including real-time chart updates, navigational warnings and notices to mariners. Smart wayfinding using data overlays was presented, with optimized routeing on the Baltic Web, using weather and ice prognosis as a way of finding efficient routes, as well as space weather prediction for more accurate navigation. Sea/shore integration was demonstrated, with route sharing ship-to-shore and information sharing between Vessel Traffic Services/Ship reporting Systems (VTS/SRS) for efficient SAR operations.

Maps and the 20th century: drawing the line
29 November 2016
Russian moon globe from 1961 with NASA earthrise image of the earth in the background - © British Library, photo by Clare Kendall.

A major new exhibition at the British Library, 4 November 2016 - 1 March 2017, looks at the history of the 20th century through its maps for the first time, shedding new light on familiar events, from global conflicts to the depths of the ocean floor - and even the mapping of outer space. It explores how 20th century maps shaped the ways we see the world we live in. Furthermore, it celebrates the rare beauty and astonishing variety of 20th century maps from the first sketch of the London Underground from 1931, to declassified Ministry of Defence maps, Ordnance Survey maps from the 1920s, a Russian moon globe and the first map of Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood.
From questions of war and peace, to understanding the movements of people, nature, and even the financial markets, Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line explores how maps became increasingly present in 20th century lives.

L'Entente Cordiale, 1915 - © British Library, photo by Jon Ellis.

The exhibition looks at the spectacular advances in the technology of mapping across the century, from the land surveys of 1900 to the development of satellite imagery by 2000. For the first time, we could see from the Atlantic Ocean floor to the far side of the Moon. Telling the history of the 20th century in maps allows us to reconsider the recent past from different perspectives.

IMO awards for exceptional bravery at sea
27 November 2016
Captain Radhika Menon, the first female to receive the IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea, speaking after IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim presented her with the 2016 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea on 21 November, during an emotional ceremony - illustration by kind courtesy of IMO©

The IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea was established by IMO to provide international recognition for those who, at the risk of losing their own life, perform acts of exceptional bravery, displaying outstanding courage in attempting to save life at sea or in attempting to prevent or mitigate damage to the marine environment. For 2016, 23 nominations were received from nine Member States and one inter-governmental organization.
The Master of an Indian oil tanker who says she was "just doing her job" has received the highest IMO bravery recognition for saving the lives of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat during a tumultuous storm in the Bay of Bengal in June 2015.
'It is every seafarer's and Master's solemn duty and obligation to save souls in distress at sea. I just did what a seafarer should do for a fellow soul in distress at sea. Yes, it was an instant decision, but not without assessing the risks involved. I just did my duty,' said Captain Radhika Menon, Master of the oil products tanker Sampurna Swarajya.

Cosmic flash shows
20 November 2016
CSIRO's Parkes telescope was first to detect the fast radio burst or FRB - © David McClenaghan

A brilliant flash of radio waves from the distant universe has given a unique glimpse of the gas that lies between galaxies. The flash was captured and analysed by a mostly Australian team, using CSIRO's Parkes telescope and the results were published in the journal Science today.
'This flash lasted just a third of a millisecond, making it one of the briefest we have seen,' said research team co-leader Dr Ryan Shannon of CSIRO, the International Research Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) and Curtin University.
Called fast radio bursts, or FRBs, such cosmic flashes were discovered with the Parkes 'scope in 2007. Just 18 have been spotted to date, most with the Parkes. Astronomers think that between 2,000 and 10,000 go off all over the sky every day but their cause is unknown. Coming from a small patch of sky containing only distant galaxies, the flash in question, FRB 150807, is believed to have originated more than a billion light-years away, according to CSIRO in a statement of 18 November.

ASV landmark: 1,000 days of operations
20 November 2016

Recent weeks have seen a report from ASV Global, a leading manufacturer of Autonomous Surface Vehicles, that one unit has reached the landmark of 1000 days of unmanned operations. This milestone was reached during the Unmanned Warrior 2016 naval presentation which saw more than 50 unmanned vehicles operating in a variety of themed activities. With this the Royal Navy was able to see first-hand how these types of systems and sensors could integrate into current and future operations.
A number of ASV Global developed vehicles and systems participated in the event including converted vessels such as BAE Systems' Pacific 950 and Pacific 24 RIBs and Dstl's Maritime Autonomy Surface Testbed (MAST) based on the innovative Bladerunner hull shape. The event also showcased vehicles designed and built by ASV Global including the commercial vehicle C-Worker 5 (illustrated) and the Thales' mine countermeasures demonstrator platform known as Halcyon.
Dan Hook, Managing Director of ASV Global commented: 'Completing 1000 days of unmanned operations during Unmanned Warrior, the world's first large scale demonstration of maritime autonomous systems, could not have been more timely. This exemplifies the increasing speed of adoption of ASV technology and is a real testament to all of the hard work and dedication from the team.'

Automated Ships Ltd and Kongsberg MoU
11 November 2016
An artist's impression of the first full-sized unmanned ship to be built through UK and Norwegian co-operation, the offshore vessel Hrönn, construction of which begins in January 2017 for it to enter operation in 2018.

On 1 November Kongsberg of Norway announced that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK's Automated Ships Ltd to build the world's first unmanned and fully-automated vessel for offshore operations. It is understood that in January 2017, Automated Ships Ltd will contract the vessel Hrönn, which will be designed and built in Norway in cooperation with Kongsberg.
Sea trials will take place in Norway's newly designated automated vessel test bed in Trondheim fjord and will be conducted under the auspices of DNV GL and the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA). Hrönn will ultimately be classed and flagged, respectively it is reported.
Furthermore, Kongsberg will deliver all major marine equipment necessary for the design, construction and operation of Hrönn. This will include systems for dynamic positioning and navigation, satellite and position reference, marine automation and communication. All the vessel's control systems including dynamic positioning, automation and ECDIS will be replicated at an Onshore Control Centre, allowing full remote operations of Hrönn.

RAF and JASDF first joint exercise
06 November 2016
Two Typhoons from No 2 (Army Cooperation) Squadron, Royal Air Force - photo: Crown Copyright 2016©

The Royal Air Force and Kōkū Jieitai (the Japan Air Self-Defense Force) have marked the first joint exercise between the two countries with a ceremony attended by Service Chiefs and Government Ministers during the first week of November. Defense Minister Tomomi Inada joined Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier and his Kōkū Jieitai counterpart, General Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, to congratulate members of both forces on their performance during Exercise Guardian North 16. While the pilots of both forces have carried out complex air intercept training sorties, the engineers and support staff have worked closely with their JASDF counterparts to further develop relationships and capabilities.
General Sugiyama: 'We have not done any bilateral exercises in Japan with other nations except with the US, and ultimately we are so grateful for this opportunity to host one in Japan with the Royal Air Force; which is one of the most committed services to improving the global security environment.'

An F2 of the Kōkū Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) - photo: Crown Copyright 2016 / JASDF©
New CEO for the Nautical Instititute
03 November 2016

The Nautical Institute announced on 31 October that it had selected a new Chief Executive Officer after interviewing a competitive shortlist of six candidates. Captain John Lloyd MBA AFNI, currently the Institute's Chief Operating Officer, will take over from Philip Wake OBE RD* MSc FNI, who is retiring in May 2017 after 14 years in post.
John took up the COO post in November 2015 in which he has had overall responsibility for the Institute's specialised training services, including the industry-standard Dynamic Positioning Operator (DPO) accreditation and certification scheme.

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