IAIN is a non-profit NGO uniting national and multinational institutes and organisations aiming to foster human activities on land, at sea, in the air and in space by developing and disseminating the science and practice of navigation and related information techniques.

IAIN is registered in the Netherlands and comprises institutes of navigation worldwide, associate members, corporate members and corresponding members.

The overall policy of IAIN is defined by its constitution and the resolutions of the General Assembly and is implemented by the Officers' Committee .

Day-to-day operations and administration are the responsibility of the Secretary General .

One of the activities of IAIN in pursuance of its goal is the organisation of the triennial IAIN World Congress , at which time IAIN Awards  may be presented.

Another is gathering and publishing of news  (also by RSS feed ) and a calendar of events  related to navigation and navigation techniques, as well as publishing feature articles .

A third is the representation of the member institutes at various international regulatory bodies, such as IMO and ICAO.

In 1995 IAIN was invited by the IMO Secretariat to develop a list of definitions relevant to the future civil satellite navigation system.