Further significant progress on IMO’s e-navigation strategy implementation plan, including the identification of e-navigation user needs, has been made by the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation.
The vision behind the e-navigation strategy (which has been developed in cooperation with the Sub-Committees on Radiocommunications, Search and Rescue (COMSAR) and Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW)) is to integrate existing and new navigational tools, in particular electronic tools, in an all-embracing transparent, user-friendly, cost-effective and compatible system that will contribute to enhanced navigational safety (with all the positive repercussions this will have on maritime safety overall and environmental protection) while simultaneously reducing the burden on the navigator.
The user needs identified include shipboard user needs and priorities; shore-based user needs; search and rescue authority user needs; and a list of exisitng systems and new communciation technologies supporting user needs.
The Sub-Committee also endorsed a functional architecture concept, which has been developed to provide a framework for ongoing work on e-navigation, on the basis that it will be continually updated.
A correspondence group was re-established to further progress the work on e-navigation and report to the STW and COMSAR Sub-Committees and to the next NAV session (NAV 57).
It was agreed that users, in particular seafarers, should continue to be involved during the development of an e-navigation strategy implementation plan.
Safety zones around offshore installations – guidelines agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed to a draft SN circular on Guidelines for safety zones and safety of navigation around offshore installations and structures, for submission to the MSC. The guidelines are intended to increase awareness of the availability and best use of existing routeing measures to protect personnel and to prevent serious damage to such structures or to the marine environment in the event of a collision.
Routeing of ships, ship reporting and other relevant measures
The Sub-Committee approved the following new and amended ships' routeing measures and mandatory ship reporting systems for submission to the MSC for adoption:
Traffic separation schemes (TSSs)
• New TSSs "Off the western coast of Norway" and "Off the southern coast of Norway", including recommended routes;
• Cancellation of the existing Traffic Separation Scheme "Off Feistein";
• Amendments to the existing Traffic Separation Scheme "In the Strait of Dover and adjacent waters"; and
• Amendments to the existing Traffic Separation Scheme "Off the south-west coast of Iceland"
Routeing measures other than Traffic Separation Schemes
• Establishment of a new Area To Be Avoided in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Ghana;
• Establishment of a new Deep-water route in the approaches to the new port of King Abdullah Port (KAP Port) in the northern Red Sea and a Precautionary area in the approaches to the new port of King Abdullah Port (KAP Port) in the northern Red Sea;
• Amendments to the existing eastern Area To Be Avoided off the south-west coast of Iceland; and
• Amendments to the existing Deep-water route forming part of the "In the Strait of Dover and adjacent waters" Traffic Separation Scheme.
Mandatory ship reporting systems
• New mandatory ship reporting system "In the Sound between Denmark and Sweden" (SOUNDREP);
• Amendments to the existing mandatory ship reporting system "In the Torres Strait region and the Inner Route of the Great Barrier Reef" (REEFREP); and
• Amendments to the existing mandatory ship reporting system "Off the south and south-west coast of Iceland" (TRANSREP).
Interim recommendatory measure in the Singapore Strait
The Sub-Committee endorsed an Interim recommendatory measure in the Singapore Strait, under which vessels would be recommended to display night signals consisting of three all-round green lights in a vertical line when crossing the Singapore Strait.
Contracting Parties to the International Convention on Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREG), were invited, if they so wished, to propose amendments in relation to the procedures for night signals to be displayed by vessels crossing Traffic Separation Schemes.
Guidance on updating shipborne navigation and communication equipment agreed
The Sub-Committee endorsed a draft Safety of Navigation circular SN.1/Circ.266/Rev.1 on Maintenance of electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) software, for submission to MSC 88 for approval. The circular provides information on the status of International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) standards affecting ECDIS Equipment and notes that the need for safe navigation requires that manufacturers should provide a mechanism to ensure software maintenance arrangements are adequate.
It also approved a draft MSC circular on Guidance on procedures for updating shipborne navigation and communication equipment, for submission to MSC 88 for approval, which states that Member Governments should promulgate information to all affected parties in relation to IMO and ITU regulatory changes that have the potential to affect maritime navigation and radiocommunication equipment; and equipment manufacturers should provide timely access to information pertaining to maritime navigation and radiocommunication equipment application software, for any relevant changes, originating from IMO and ITU regulations.
Amendments to the world-wide radionavigation system agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed proposed amendments to the World-wide Radionavigation system (WWRNS) (resolution A.953(23)), to take account of developments in radionavigation services. The amendments update the operational requirements for a world-wide radionavigation system, with a view to encouraging more Administrations to submit suitable radionavigation services to IMO as a component of the WWRNS system.
Draft amendments to SOLAS V/22 on navigation bridge visibility developed
The Sub-Committee considered draft proposed amendments to SOLAS regulation V/22 Navigation bridge visibility and established a correspondence group to further develop them. The proposed revisions are intended to clarify vague expressions in the current regulation, including those relating to blind sectors, height of lower and upper edge of bridge front windows, clear view through the bridge front windows, and to add a new section to address cargo stowed on deck, forward of the wheelhouse, which could limit visibility.
Amendments to the performance standards for VDRs further developed
The Sub-Committee made progress in developing the draft amended recommendation on performance standards for voyage data recorders (VDRs) and invited Member States and interested parties to submit their comments, and in particular to provide more information on initial and operational costs, in order to justify whether a float-free recording medium, in addition to a fixed recording medium, should be included in the amended performance standards. The aim is to finalize the revised performance standards at the next session.