The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is co-organizing a workshop with the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to support the operationalization of e-navigation solutions, the first since Singapore's election to the IALA Council in 2018.
E-navigation, a concept driven by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and like-minded nations including Singapore, aims to make marine navigation safer and marine communications more reliable, as well as to reduce accidents and damage to the environment.
Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said, "As one the world's busiest hub ports with some 1,000 vessels in our port at any one time, Singapore places a very strong emphasis on navigational safety and continually invests in efforts and innovation in this area. Our election into the IALA Council has presented more opportunities for us to work closely with key players around the world, and we look forward to collaborating with like-minded partners under the broader framework of the IMO to support the implementation of e-navigation."
Francis Zachariae, IALA Secretary-General, said, "Singapore, with their commitment to innovation in all aspects of navigational safety, makes an excellent host for this e-navigation workshop. This is a golden opportunity to highlight the tangible operational benefits of e-navigation and how they will make a real difference to mariners and other users in their daily operational life."
The MPA-IALA e-navigation workshop will run from 8 to 10 April, and will discuss and develop options to test and operationalize e-navigation solutions. An implementation roadmap will be formalized to guide the developmental work and the execution of tasks to achieve operational capabilities. The workshop is attended by representatives from the maritime community, including maritime administrations, port authorities, industry, academia and shipping associations.
MPA is supporting a project under its Maritime Transformation Program, to develop a satellite Very High Frequency-based data exchange system (VDES) with a global coverage. This involves a partnership between A*STAR's Institute of Infocomm Research, the National University of Singapore (NUS), and industry partners.
VDES is expected to complement the current Automatic Identification System (AIS) and enable high capacity two-way data exchanges between shore and sea. VDES will help unlock new applications such as Maritime Single Window and digital maritime services, thereby improving safety and security at sea, and enhancing operational efficiency on ships and in the port.
Singapore, through MPA, partnered Norway in the Secure, Efficient and Safer Maritime Traffic Management in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SESAME Straits) e-navigation testbed research project. The objective of SESAME Straits was to develop and validate new operating concepts as well as innovative solutions, for bringing about greater shared situational awareness and collaborative decision making between ship and shore-based personnel.
As a follow up, SESAME Solution II has been launched to realize e-navigation concepts and developments, as aligned to IMO's e-navigation Strategy Implementation Plan (SIP) Solutions. Together with local partners comprising research institutes and industry, MPA will renew its partnership with the Norwegian Coastal Administration, Kongsberg Norcontrol Pte Ltd and other members of the Norwegian consortium on this endeavor.
To further advance international partnerships on e-navigation development work and to support the enhancement of safety and security of maritime navigation, the world's largest shipping body - the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and its two key regional partners - the Asian Shipowners' Association (ASA) and the European Community Shipowners' Association (ECSA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the event.
Under the MOU, the three associations will cooperate on matters affecting the interests of shipowners and operators, including technical and operational matters and promotion of best practices throughout the industry such as e-navigation solutions.