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Seafarers plight

Thome Group launches new Navigation Bridge Simulator
24 January 2021

The new full mission navigation bridge simulator with a 320° view
At the controls of Thome's new navigation bridge simulator

The Thome Group recognises the importance of its seafarers keeping pace with the rapidly changing technology on board today's modern vessels which is why it has recently invested in the installation of a new Full Mission Navigation Bridge Simulator with a 320° view.
Using Kongsberg Digital's latest K-Sim navigation simulator, trainees will be able to use equipment that looks, feels and has the same functions as real on board equipment, while operating in a safe training room environment.
The sophisticated new visual system brings to life geographic locations, different weather conditions and other nearby vessels so trainees can have better seascape and interact with multiple scenarios.

ICAO reports 2020 passenger totals drop 60%
17 January 2021

World passenger traffic evolution 1945 2020
2020 passenger traffic and revenues, by region

With its latest economic impact analysis of COVID-19 now completed, the UN agency for civil aviation has confirmed that international passenger traffic suffered a dramatic 60% drop over 2020, bringing air travel totals back to 2003 levels. This was announced from ICAO HQ in Montréal on 15 January 2021.
ICAO reports that as seat capacity fell by 50% last year, passenger totals dropped by 60% with just 1.8 billion passengers taking to the air during the first year of the pandemic, compared to 4.5 billion in 2019.
Its numbers also point to airline financial losses of $370 billion resulting from the COVID-19 impacts, with airports and air navigation services providers (ANSPs) losing a further $115 billion and $13 billion, respectively.

The latest IALA publications
10 January 2021

Harmonisation of Marine Aids to Navigation worldwide facilitates maritime traffic. - photo: Ambrose Greenway©
Activities of IALA Members ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious and cost-effective while protecting the environment. - photo: Ambrose Greenway©

IALA is a non-profit, international technical association. Established in 1957, it gathers together Marine Aids to Navigation authorities, manufacturers, consultants, and scientific and training institutes from all parts of the world and offers them the opportunity to exchange and compare their experiences and achievements.
IALA encourages its members to work together in a common effort to harmonise Marine Aids to Navigation worldwide and to ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious and cost-effective while protecting the environment.
Taking into account the needs of mariners, developments in technology and the requirements and constraints of aids to navigation authorities, a number of technical committees have been established bringing together experts from around the world.
See IALA's guidelines and recommendations.

A New Year message from the President
31 December 2020

There is no doubt that 2020 was a difficult year for so many around the world.
Many IAIN Member organisations had to postpone meetings, some to dates beyond the year's end and well into 2021 or even beyond. Within IAIN, Officers took the difficult decision to postpone our own IAIN 2021 World Congress. The possibility to hold Congress in 2022 will be reviewed at the next Officers' meeting in May 2021. All the international and intergovernmental organisations with which IAIN is involved have also had their own programmes and plans impacted.
However, 2020 has also seen great innovation: humankind at its best, collaborating and working together to achieve things previously thought impossible. From global collaboration on vaccine development to local communities providing support for the needy in their streets, great things have been achieved by so many. Institutes of Navigation have played their part too, often with more people able to contribute virtually than would be possible in-person. Positioning, navigation and timing has, at last, become widely recognised as the invisible utility underpinning and enabling our modern world. I believe we should all feel proud of how our knowledge and co-operation have enabled so much innovation and are contributing to safety and sustainability.
On behalf of myself, Simon Gaskin, our Secretary General, and the IAIN Officers, may we take this opportunity to wish you and your families all the best for a successful and rewarding 2021.

Best wishes,
John Pottle, President IAIN.

Electronic Navigation Systems booklet
29 December 2020

Cover picture by William Thomson ©

The objective of this booklet is to provide guidance on the safe use of electronic navigation and associated systems on leisure vessels. Navigating a leisure vessel has always required the skipper/navigator to use all available information and that has never been more important than now, with the availability of ever increasing sources of information. Good navigational safety is still dependent on the continuous assessment by the skipper/navigator of all the navigation-related information available on the vessel - and not just over-concentrating on some, however beguiling they may be.

EU-BREXIT trade accord, nearly there
25 December 2020

Of the accord President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said: "It was worth fighting for this deal because we now have a fair and balanced agreement with the UK, which will protect our European interests, ensure fair competition, and provide much needed predictability for our fishing communities. Finally, we can leave Brexit behind us and look to the future. Europe is now moving on."
The European Commission's Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, said: "We have now come to the end of a very intensive four-year period, particularly over the past nine months, during which we negotiated the UK's orderly withdrawal from the EU and a brand new partnership, which we have finally agreed today. The protection of our interests has been front and centre throughout these negotiations and I am pleased that we have managed to do so. It is now for the European Parliament and the Council to have their say on this agreement."
You may want to read this or this to get a better picture of the accord.

Navigation 2021 Call for Papers
22 December 2020

The Navigation 2021 organisers are inviting papers in the following categories:
- Peer-reviewed: Your abstract and, if accepted, paper will be peer reviewed and published to be indexed and searchable. Your presentation will be invited in a parallel technical session at the conference.
- Presentation: Your abstract will be reviewed and, if accepted, you will be invited to present your work in a parallel session at the conference.
- Poster: Your abstract will be reviewed and, if accepted, your poster will be displayed in the virtual exhibition hall. We plan to encourage delegate interaction through poster presentations during the networking sessions.
The best peer-reviewed papers will be invited to submit for consideration to be published in the Journal of Navigation.

ION combined ITM/PTTI early bird deadline
22 December 2020

The early bird registration discount deadline is approaching. Save $50 on registration rates for The ION International Technical Meeting (ITM) and Precise Time and Time Interval (PTTI) 2021 virtual meetings, being held January 25-28, 2021 in Pacific Standard Time (PST). Complete your registration by Monday, January 4.
The two are combined into one virtual meeting to be held January 25-28, 2021.

ION GNSS+ call for abstracts
22 December 2020

The ION GNSS+ 2021 Abstract Deadline is March 5, 2021.
Submit your abstract today for the Institute of Navigation's (ION) GNSS+ 2021: GNSS + Other Sensors in Today's Marketplace, the 34th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division. ION GNSS+ 2021 will take place September 20-24, (Tutorials September 21) at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. A virtual option is available.

The Navigation Flashlight 20/3
21 December 2020

From our Austrian member institute, the Österreichischer Verein für Navigation, we have received word of the latest issue of their regular publication, The Navigation Flashlight. It is published three times a year, currently in its twentieth year of publication and it is in German.

Campaign to deliver seafarers home
18 December 2020

With many seafarers facing a second December away from home, Nautilus launched its campaign in late 2020 calling for government and industry to carry out as many crew changes as possible to 'deliver seafarers home for Christmas'.
400,000 seafarers were thought to be stranded on ships worldwide due to the failure of government to allow travel to and from vessels during the Covid-19 crisis. Research by the Union shows that almost all seafarers have been directly affected by the pandemic.
Nautilus has been inundated with requests for support from these seafarers, who have been dealing with issues such as exhaustion, redundancy, and cuts to pay and conditions. Many have either been stranded at sea, away from their loved ones, or trapped at home unable to earn a living.
The Union launched a petition urging governments and the United Nations to work together to ensure that seafarers are designated as key workers in every country, and to enable global crew changes.

Anglo-French air defence exercise
16 December 2020

UK and French Air forces have exercised a joint intercept scrambling both countries Quick Reaction Alerts
In flight refuelling - images by SAC Megan Woodhouse and SAC Kimberley Waterson - MoD Crown Copyright 2020 ©

On 15 December the RAF and French Air forces carried out a joint intercept exercise, scrambling both countries' Quick Reaction Alerts (QRA).
Typhoons from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire linked up with Armée de l'Air Rafale aircraft to intercept a simulated non-NATO military aircraft entering the UK Airspace. The key objective of the scramble was to exercise and practice NATO Long Range Aviation procedures within the UK and French Flight Information Regions (FIR) and develop the tactical co-ordination involved with international cross-FIR border operations.

Eye on the sky transforms detection with quantum radar
15 December 2020

Illustration provided by courtesy of University of Birmingham ©

Radar equipment is being installed at the University of Birmingham as part of a demonstration intended to test and prove the precision of quantum-enabled radar detection capabilities.
A key part of keeping everyday life secure is being able to detect dangerous or unsafe situations before they occur. Quantum enabled radar technology research, undertaken by academics at the UK Quantum Technology Hub Sensors and Timing, aims to do precisely this.
Radar detection is a deceptively complex necessity in the modern world: it is required for a surprisingly wide range of sectors. For example, high precision radar will ensure autonomous vehicles can detect hazards well ahead of time. Hub academics are also developing next generation distributed radar systems, which will transform surveillance by providing much greater coverage and maintaining real-time situational awareness in highly congested and cluttered environments.

IMO MSC 102 - reported by IAIN delegate James Taylor
09 December 2020

Illustration IMO©

The final report was accepted by the Maritime Safety Committee, and now goes to the IMO Council and will thus complete its statutory journey.
IMO is currently much concerned, rightly, at the need for Governments and the shipping industry globally, with its wildly varying standards of management and care, to resolve the issue of crew members, out of contract and so unpaid, being isolated in foreign ports during the pandemic, and unable to return home to families. This requires governmental action, and will take some time to resolve to any degree of satisfaction.
Progress can be reported on navigational issues such as increasing standardisation of Port State Control, domestic ferry safety and effective water space management.

UK, French, US airborne forces train
07 December 2020

Illustrations MoD Crown Copyright 2020 ©

Some 20 helicopters carried the 1,300-strong 2 PARA Battlegroup into action on 4 December on Exercise Wessex Storm. Troops, vehicles and stores were lifted by Royal Air Force Chinook and Puma support helicopters, protected by the sensors and weapons of Army Air Corps Wildcat reconnaissance helicopters and Apache attack helicopters. This was reported by the (UK) Ministry of Defence on 4 December.
The training is about confirming the UK's 2 PARA Battlegroup's skills and readiness to serve as the lead infantry unit within 16 Air Assault Brigade, the British Army's global response force. Some 150 troops from the French 2e Reégiment Etranger de Parachutistes and a 40-strong platoon from the US Army's 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment are taking part. Their involvement is about growing understanding of each other's capabilities and tactics, meaning our airborne forces are better prepared to operate together on future operations.

Sealite webinar: The Role of IALA
07 December 2020

Marine aids to navigation manufacturer Sealite welcomes Francis Zachariae (FZ), Secretary-General of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to speak on his organisation in a forthcoming webinar.
Francis will discuss the history of IALA and the organisation's focus on the development of standards and guidelines to ensure the safety of all mariners. He will also discuss IALA's strategic move towards becoming an intergovernmental organisation (IGO).
The webinar will be held on December 15, 2020, 1100 hrs Paris time. Previous webinars can be viewed here.
You can register here.

Calling boat and yacht owners worldwide
29 November 2020

Illustration per www.imo.org ©

IMO is asking recreational boat owners worldwide to take part in a global survey on how they deal with fouling on their craft, as part of a major project to help address the spread of aquatic invasive species. The survey is available here: https://www.glofouling.imo.org/recreational-boating-survey
This is for owners of all types of sailing boats, motorboats and yachts is being carried out by IMO's GloFouling Partnerships Project, which aims to protect marine ecosystems from the negative effects of invasive aquatic species.

RAF trains in Turkey
24 November 2020

RAF and Turkish Air Force pilots pose for a photograph in front of a Typhoon FGR4 and a Turkish F16
A Typhoon FGR4 taking part in air to air refuelling en route to Konya
A F16 (top) and Typhoon FGR4 flying over Konya - Illustrations MoD Crown Copyright 2020 ©

Royal Air Force personnel and Typhoons have conducted a week of training in Turkey as part of a package of the NATO Alliance's assurance measures to one of its key allies. This was reported by the UK Ministry of Defence on 24 November.
As part of the UK's contribution in delivering on its NATO commitment of Tailored Assurance Measures to Turkey, No IX(B) Squadron Typhoons based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, spent three days exercising alongside the Turkish Air Force F16s at the 3rd Main Jet base, Konya, in south central Turkey.

Furuno offers KVH AgilePlans® maritime VSAT connectivity in Japan
19 November 2020

It was reported from Middletown, Rhode Island, on 19 November that KVH Industries, Inc. announced that Furuno is offering AgilePlans® maritime VSAT connectivity in Japan.
The KVH AgilePlans programme is a Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) subscription-based model offering a comprehensive solution for maritime satellite communications.
Without a costly capital outlay, the AgilePlans service is said to eliminate barriers to upgrading to VSAT or switching from a competitor. It includes high-speed connectivity with unlimited e-mail and texting via KVH's mini-VSAT BroadbandSM HTS network, TracPhone® HTS-series hardware, with installation in as many as 4,000 ports and locations, cybersecurity protection, KVH OneCare™ maintenance, and no long-term commitment, all for one monthly fee.

Australian ports - Tiller Technical and Helm Operations launch expansion
18 November 2020

It was reported from Perth, Western Australia on 18 November that Canadian software company Helm Operations (Victoria, BC) and Western Australian marine consultant Tiller Technical (Perth, WA) have signed a new partnership agreement to help vessel operators digitalize their operations.
As part of the partnership, Tiller Technical will use its industry expertise and local knowledge to help companies implement and use Helm CONNECT - Helm's industry-leading harbor services and fleet management software - to modernize, digitalize, and streamline their operations. Since launching in 2016, Helm CONNECT has become the world's fastest growing maritime software platform, now used by more than 220 companies and 4000 vessels worldwide to help manage fleet operations, including vessel maintenance, regulatory compliance, personnel management, and vessel scheduling and billing.

ESA student internships - Applications invited
16 November 2020


The next round of internship opportunities at ESA is now published and opportunities will remain open until 10 December 2020.
Internships last from three to six months and opportunities are available in engineering, science, IT, natural/social sciences, business and administration services.
In the words of the ESA's communiqué: 'You can browse this year's opportunities directly on our recruitment website. Then simply create your candidate profile, upload your CV and add your motivation letter to submit your application.'

New ICAO-IFAR agreement to enhance innovation integration
09 November 2020

It was announced from Montréal on 9 November that ICAO and the International Forum for Aviation Research (IFAR) had formalised a new agreement aimed at accelerating and improving the effective assessment of new aviation technologies and innovations.
The agreement establishes two new ICAO-IFAR Expert Groups which will review latest innovations in the areas of urban air mobility and AI in aviation. After their first year, each group will report back to ICAO and IFAR and the two organizations will use the findings to optimize and formalize IFAR's future contributions to ICAO and international aviation.
ICAO Secretary General Dr Fang Liu commented: 'This new collaboration will see IFAR's community supporting ICAO's activities by sharing its consensus view on current areas of technical challenge and opportunity, and in turn, ICAO will augment its ability to engage with and benefit from IFAR's processes and expectations.'

IMO Secretary-General Emeritus William A. O'Neil, remembered
04 November 2020

Illustrations © IMO

William A O'Neil, Secretary-General Emeritus of the IMO died in the UK on 29 October at the age of 93.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim expressed his sincere condolences to the Canadian Government, Mr O'Neil's remaining family, and the condolences of the entire IMO membership and staff.
'It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Mr O'Neil, who was a great friend and mentor who made a huge personal contribution to securing globally applicable safety, security and environmental standards,' Mr Lim said. Mr O'Neil was Secretary-General of IMO from 1990 to 2003.

Sustainable funding for national CAAs - ICAO emphasises call for governments
24 October 2020

Illustration ICAO ©

It was reported from Montréal on 22 October that ICAO Secretary General Dr Fang Liu reiterated the UN agency's call for national governments to assure the sustainable funding of their civil aviation authorities (CAAs).
Dr Liu highlighted: 'State aviation authorities have been facing drastic reductions to their funding and this has led to significant gaps between performance and oversight expectations and available resources. To overcome these challenges, a cooperative and collaborative approach with industry, and regional and international organizations, is key.'

IHMA's new President, Captain Yoss Leclerc
24 October 2020

Captain Yoss Leclerc

On 20 October the International Harbour Masters' Association (IHMA) announced that its new President is Captain Yoss Leclerc of the Port of Québec. He succeeds Captain Allan Gray, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority, Canada.
Captain Leclerc was elected on 8 October at the conclusion of the IHMA Ordinary General Meeting held remotely for the first time due to COVID-19 restrictions. The OGM was contributed to online by delegates from 13 countries.
In a statement to members Captain Leclerc pledged to help the Association meet the challenges facing Harbour Masters to ensure the sustainability of ports in the future.

Pacific PNT meeting rescheduled
20 October 2020

The Institute of Navigation's (ION) biennial Pacific PNT meeting, scheduled to take place April 19-22, 2021 in Honolulu Hawaii, has been rescheduled to take place in the spring of 2022.
ION Pacific PNT is the global cooperative development of Positioning, Navigation and Timing technology and applications where policy and technical leaders from Japan, Singapore, China, South Korea, Australia, the United States and more meet to discuss policy updates, receive program status updates and exchange technical information.
Specific dates for ION Pacific PNT 2022 have not yet been announced, however abstracts are being accepted through November 1, 2021. The 2022 dates will be announced once they are finalized.

Mentoring at sea
15 October 2020

NI Senior Vice-President, Captain André LeGoubin (top)

The Nautical Institute is launching an online campaign promoting mentoring at sea, thanks to generous funding from the TK Foundation.
Entitled 'Mentoring at Sea - The 10 Minute Challenge' the campaign features a series of five short films that cast a spotlight on the many ways in which mentoring improves life at sea while helping mariners to grow professionally. Released fortnightly, each film documents seafarers of all ages, nationalities and ranks discussing the fundamental aspects of mentoring, whether giving or receiving. Participants speak passionately about the positive impact of sharing knowledge and experience with others.

US Maritime Advisory - GPS Interference
05 October 2020

Approximate locations are on the map here; instances where there are (1) or more reports are represented by only (1) red dot on the map.

Towards the end of September the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued an advisory notice (No 2020-016) concerning GPS interference.
Multiple instances of significant GPS interference have been reported worldwide in the maritime domain. This interference is resulting in lost or inaccurate GPS signals affecting bridge navigation, GPS-based timing, and communications equipment. Satellite communications equipment may also be impacted.
Over the last year, areas from which multiple instances have been reported include the eastern and central Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, and multiple Chinese ports. The US Transportation Command "Message for Industry" at https://go.usa.gov/xdSpq provides additional GPS interference information.

Reminder: ION accepting nominations for ION Fellows and Annual Awards
05 October 2020

Nominations for The Institute of Navigation's (ION) Fellows and Annual Awards Program are now being accepted. Nominations are due no later than 15 October.
The ION Annual Awards Program is sponsored by The Institute of Navigation and recognizes individuals making significant contributions or demonstrating outstanding performance relating to the art and science of Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT). Nominations may be submitted now for ION's Fellows and Annual Awards here.

ESA Discovery studies lay path to navigating the Moon
02 October 2020

GPS satellites - like those of Galileo, Russia's Glonass or their Japanese, Chinese and Indian counterparts - aim their antennas directly at Earth. Any satellite orbiting above the GPS constellation can only hope to detect signals from over Earth's far side, but the majority are blocked by the planet. For a position fix, a satnav receiver requires a minimum of four satellites to be visible, but this is most of the time not possible if based solely on front-facing signals. Instead, GIOVE-A has been able to make use of signals emitted sideways from GPS antennas, within what is known as 'side lobes'. Just like a flashlight, radio antennas shine energy to the side as well as directly forward. - © ESA

Just as we navigate our way around Earth's surface using the connection between our phones and navigation satellites high above us, our missions use the very same satellites to navigate their way in space.
Around ten years ago, engineers started demonstrating that spacecraft outside the orbit of navigation satellites could also navigate in space using 'spill over' signal from the satellites.
ESA has invested in the development of an appropriate receiver, and is exploring whether it could be demonstrated on the Lunar Pathfinder mission. It will help lay the groundwork for providing navigation services around the Moon, currently studied through two ESA NAVISP activities and culminating in the Moonlight initiative.

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page last revised May 6, 2020