Beginning in 1957, a series of conferences sponsored by the British, French and German Institutes of Navigation (ION) were held at three year intervals to discuss technical navigation issues. The separation of vessels in highly congested areas was of primary concern. In 1964, the International Maritime (then Consultative) Organisation (IMCO) accepted a report prepared by the three IONs on Traffic Regulation in the Dover Strait. In 1968, a further report on the Separation of Traffic at Sea was accepted by the Maritime Safety Committee of IMCO.
The three IONs have thus pointed the way for establishing standards in the international maritime community and could be expected to influence future international developments in marine navigation. It was also clear that a properly constituted international body with consultative status at IMCO was needed. This matter was brought before all the IONs in 1969 by the Presidents of the British and American IONs. They proposed the formation of an international council of IONs and distributed a draft constitution for discussion.
Early in 1975, the Presidents of the Institutes of Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States agreed to the formal declaration of an International Association of Institutes of Navigation (IAIN). The first General Assembly was held in London and the first constitution was adopted on 15 October 1975. In 1976, IAIN was granted consultative status to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Since then many proposals and technical papers on different subjects have been put forward to IMO on such matters as traffic separation, collision regulations and accuracy standards for navigation.
In 1985, IAIN was given consultative status to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Recommendations on the use of a worldwide geodetic system were made by IAIN which were adopted by ICAO’s Future Air Navigation System (FANS) Committee.
Since 1982, as a member of the International VTS Organisation Committee, IAIN has been taking an active part in the congresses held at Bremen, Marseille’s, Goteborg and Vancouver.
IAIN is presently promoting an international institutional solution for a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and is also encouraging the interoperability of a navigation and communication system infrastructure for use on land, at sea, in the air and in space.