With restrictions brought about by the Covid pandemic it was with a heavy heart that we had to postpone our World Congress from 2021 and the next one will now be held in the People’s Republic of China in 2024. Nevertheless, we were able to hold a General Assembly in November 2021 at the time of the International Navigation Congress, INC NAV 2021, in Edinburgh, and you can see on our website the Officers’ Committee duly elected thereat.
I am particularly pleased that we at IAIN maintain our liaison with other kindred organizations such as: the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the International Hydrographic Organization, the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG), the US Positioning, Navigation and Timing Foundation, the Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation and the Comité International Radio-Maritime and others. We are able to contribute experts to these forums. This is a valuable capability and at the same time enables us to increase our profile. Long may this continue.
Our contributions to the forums have undoubtedly brought some degree of advancement to the studies of a multitude of topics relative to safety at sea, in the air, in space and on land. This is all to the good of trade, defence and the safety and security of mankind.
During the past year, despite the Covid-19 difficulties we have seen advances in the evolution of the Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship (MASS) and here IMO began a scoping exercise to look into how safe, secure and environmentally sound such craft may be as addressed in IMO documents.
Early in December we noted with glee the report by the European Space Agency (ESA) that Europe’s largest satellite constellation had grown even bigger, following the launch of two more Galileo navigation satellites by Soyuz launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Galileo satellites 27-28 add to an existing 26-satellite constellation in orbit, providing what is claimed to be the world’s most precise satnav positioning to more than 2.3 billion users around the globe.
These are just two of the many advances in navigation science in which our members have been involved over the past year.
Finally, I pay tribute to the efforts of our Members during these difficult times while Covid-19 remains with us. These loyal, reliable, and hard-working people have continued to provide navigation services so essential for the safety of traffic and thus the maintenance of the global economy at the same time preserving the environment and maintaining peace world wide.
The past year has not been easy for us all. Staff of our Members have remained where possible at their normal workplaces in responding to the exigencies of their services particularly with regard to essential maintenance, outages and the tasks required to keep services operational. Such devotion deserves special mention.
As one year ends and another is about to open I take this opportunity, on behalf of the IAIN Officers and our Secretariat, to wish the world wide navigation community a peaceful and joyous Festive Season and a successful 2022.
Professor Krzysztof Czaplewski,