The EU project EfficienSea2 is testing the first ever system using a newly proposed standard for digitalising Navigational Warnings. When properly assessed, the new standard could be a global reality within a year and make mapping of warnings easier.
Seafarers, planning to navigate Danish Waters (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands) in the future, will have an easier time than before. The Danish Maritime Authority [DMA] has announced a new system for Navigational Warnings and Notices to Mariners, that will make it easier for seafarers to get access to information and navigate safely.
The new system is based on the International Hydrographic Organization’s [IHO] S-124 draft standard for Navigational Warnings. EfficienSea2, an EU-project led by the DMA, is tasked with testing the standard and, according to Mads Bentzen Billesø, Project Manager in EfficienSea2, the implementation of a common standard will make navigation safer. Specifically, he explains:
“We are very pleased, that we are able to do our small part in securing shared standards for the practical implementation of e-Navigation. A shared reference is of the utmost importance so my colleagues at sea will be able to be updated on upcoming hazards without needing to adapt to each new national or regional implementation.”
The data using the new standard are sent out by the Danish authorities and can be accessed either through the DMA website or via EfficienSea2’s webplatform BalticWeb. Both platforms can visualise Navigational Warnings and Notices to Mariners and are available on computers, tablets and smartphones when seafarers are connected to the internet or when the warnings are downloaded for offline use.
An important part of the EfficienSea2 project is the industry. Therefore, the equipment manufacturers and service providers involved in the project are also preparing to implement navigational warnings in their systems using the S-124 standard.
Data will, by then, be available on commercial platforms on board, e.g. chart displays. Mads Bentzen Billesø says:
“We believe that first movers with this new standard will have a competitive edge when it comes to providing fast and reliable data to their customers. The standard, when agreed upon within the IHO, will make it easier to ensure data consistency across maritime boundaries and that is a benefit to us all.”
Both France and Canada, who are heavily involved in the S-124 development, are also currently developing solutions based on the proposed S-124 standard for navigational warnings.