Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV), 57th session: 6-10 June 2011

Amendments to performance standards for VDR agreed
Revised performance standards for voyage data recorders (VDRs) were agreed by the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV), when it met for its 57th session, for submission to the MSC for approval.
The revisions, to be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 90) for adoption,  update the current performance standards (resolution A.861(20), as amended by resolution MSC.214(81)) and provide for the VDR to continuously maintain sequential records of preselected data items relating to the status and output of the ship's equipment, and command and control of the ship  in a fixed recording medium; a float-free recording medium; and a long-term recording medium.

Routeing of ships, ship reporting and other relevant measures
The Sub-Committee approved the following new and amended ships' routeing measures, including an amendment to an existing mandatory ship reporting system, for submission to the MSC for adoption:
Traffic separation schemes (TSSs)
• three new TSS in “Norra Kvarken” in the Baltic Sea;
• amendments to the existing Traffic Separation Scheme "Sunk East"; and
• amendments to the existing Traffic Separation Scheme "At West Hinder" including a new precautionary area.
Routeing measures other than Traffic Separation Schemes
• establishment of three two-way routes in Norra Kvarken in the Baltic Sea;
• new Area to be Avoided "At West Hinder" Traffic Separation Scheme bordering the north of a new precautionary area;
• establishment of a new Deep-water route in the approaches to the River Scheldt;
• establishment of a new Precautionary Area in the vicinity of the Thornton and Bligh Banks;
• amendment to the description of the Area To Be Avoided "Off the Washington coast";
• amendment to the existing text of teh “Note” relating to the deep-water route off the coast of Langeland;
• establishment of two-way routes in the Gulf of Campeche and the ports of Cayo Arcas, Ta'kuntah and Yuum K'ak Naab;
• establishment of five Areas To Be Avoided and six Precautionary Areas in the Gulf of Campeche and the ports of Cayo Arcas, Ta'kuntah and Yuum K'ak Naab. In addition, the Sub-Committee approved the cancellation of the existing routeing measures other than traffic separation schemes in the Gulf of Campeche, at maritime oil terminal off Cayo Arcas and recommended tracks in the Gulf of Campeche, and invited the Committee to revoke them.
Mandatory ship reporting systems
• amendments to the existing mandatory ship reporting system "In the Storebælt (Great Belt) traffic area (BELTREP)”.
Associated Protective Measure (APM)
• an Associated Protective Measure (APM) consisting of Recommendation on navigation through the Strait of Bonifacio  which includes recommended pilotage for the Strait of Bonifacio (designated as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA), in principle, by the Marine environment Protection Committee.
Development of an e-navigation strategy implementation plan
The Sub-Committee made further progress in the development of the e-navigation strategy implementation plan, which aims 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 e-navigation concept is being developed in cooperation with the Sub-Committees on Radiocommunications, Search and Rescue (COMSAR) and Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW)).
The Sub-Committee agreed the current overarching e-navigation architecture, which is intended to be kept under review. It provides the shipboard and the shore-based parts connected through different links. It also identifies the concept of Maritime Service Portfolio (MSP) which defines and describes the set of operational and technical services and their level of service provided by a stakeholder in a given sea area, waterway, or port, as appropriate.
The architecture also includes the Common Maritime Data Structure (CMDS) that spans the whole of the horizontal axis (indicated by the shaded oval in the background), which serves an important function as it is a key to harmonization between the technical systems of stakeholders both shipboard and shore-based.

The Sub-Committee also agreed to use the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)'s S-100 Geospatial Standard for Hydrographic Data as the baseline for creating a framework for data access and services under the scope of SOLAS. S-100 can support a variety of hydrographic-related digital data sources, products and customers, including the use of imagery and gridded data, enhanced metadata specifications, unlimited encoding formats and a more flexible maintenance regime.  

The MSC was invited to approve the establishment of an IMO/IHO Harmonization Group on Data modelling, and relevant terms of reference, to consider matters related to the framework for data access and information services under the scope of SOLAS, using as a baseline IHO's S-100 standard.
Draft amendments to SOLAS V/22 on navigation bridge visibility agreed
The Sub-Committee agreed draft proposed amendments to SOLAS regulation V/22 on Navigation bridge visibility.  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.
Development of policy and new symbols for AIS aids to navigation
The Sub-Committee established a correspondence group to develop a first draft of a policy for Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) aids to navigation and submit a report for consideration and review by NAV 58. This could cover future development of new chart symbols for AIS aids to navigation.
AIS aids to navigation transmit an "Aids-to-navigation report" and these can be real or virtual. A real AIS-AtoN that is attached to an aid to navigation such as buoy is to enhance the image of the aid on a navigational display like a radar beacon and to inform about the status of the aid to ships or a shore authority.  The virtual AIS-AtoN may be useful to temporarily mark a sudden danger or obstacle to navigation such as a wreck until a real aid to navigation is deployed.  Another possible use is to mark a point where a real aid to navigation is difficult to be deployed such as a deep-water sea route. 
Unified interpretations
The Sub-Committee agreed Unified Interpretations of the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, as amended (COLREG), for submission to MSC 90 for approval. The unified interpretations relate to navigation light arrangements described in Annex I/9(a)(i) and 10(a)(i)  of COLREG.
Boarding Arrangements for Pilot - Revised Poster endorsed
The Sub-Committee endorsed, for submission to MSC 90, a draft MSC circular Pilot transfer arrangements, which includes a revised graphic depiction of required boarding arrangements for pilot, prepared by the International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA), reflecting amendments adopted to amendments to SOLAS regulation V/23 by MSC 88 in 2010 and a proposed Assembly resolution on pilot transfer arrangements, approved by MSC 87,  which is being submitted to the IMO Assembly in November 2011.

Amendments to performance standards for speed and distance equipment agreed
The Sub-Committee endorsed a draft MSC resolution on amendments to performance standards for speed and distance measuring equipment, with a view to approval by MSC 90. The amendments add a new paragraph referring to the need for two separate devices, if ships are required to carry speed logs measuring speed through the water and speed over the ground
It also agreed a draft MSC circular on the interpretation of SOLAS regulation V/, to clarify the requirement for two separate devices, i.e. one speed and distance measuring and indicating device capable of measuring speed through water and one separate speed and distance measuring and indicating device capable of measuring speed over the ground in forward and athwartships direction.