Testing Underway for New Digitization of Navigational Warnings


Published Mar 15, 2017 6:30 PM by The Maritime Executive

The E.U. project EfficienSea2 is testing a newly proposed standard for digitalizing navigational warnings that is expected to make it easier for seafarers access information and navigate safely.

The system is based on the International Hydrographic Organization’s (IHO) S-124 draft standard for Navigational Warnings.

The Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) is leading project which will be applied to Navigational Warnings and Notices to Mariners, and the new standard could be a global reality within a year.

Project Manager Mads Bentzen Billesø says the implementation of a common standard will make navigation safer. He says: “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 web platform BalticWeb. Both platforms can visualize 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.

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 then be available on commercial platforms on board, e.g. chart displays.

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.

A BETA version is available here.