Aids to Navigations provide safety for the ships
01-07-2020 13:00

Floating, fixed or virtual. Aids to Navigation are seen in many forms. IALA have designated this as World marine Aids to Navigation Day.

Photo of Stevns fyr

​Aids to Navigations (AtoN) consists of many types of AtoN’s including floating buoys at sea and fixed lighthouses along the coasts. But also as virtual AtoNs.

New Route systems established on the World marine AtoN Day

The Danish Maritime Authority’s buoy tender POUL LØWENØRN plays a major role in this work as it maintains the floating AtoN-system daily.

Before opening the new route systems in Kattegat and Skagerrak, the Danish Maritime Authority has examined 72 AtoNs in the area. This has resulted in 26 changes in the AtoN’s in Danish and Swedish waters during the spring 2020. We will still see the large lighthouses along the coasts, and the floating light-buoys will mark the danger grounds and bends along the routes.

In addition, four virtual AtoN’s are established. These electronic AtoN’s are not physically present in the water but are only visible on the ships' navigation equipment. As a starting point, virtual AtoN’s function as a supplement to the physical AtoN’s, and their primary function is to state that here are the new routes.

On the 1 July 2020 the World marine Aids to Navigation Day is being marked around the world for the second time after IALA introduced this day in 2019 for promoting IALA's work and to visualize the knowledge about modern technology, including virtual buoys.

The day is celebrated by the Danish Maritime Authority together with many other members of IALA under the name World Marine Aids to Navigation Day.

Facts about IALA

IALA, International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authority, encourages its members to work together in a common effort to harmonise aids to navigation worldwide and to ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious and cost effective while protecting the environment. In addition to physical AtoN’s such as lighthouses and buoys, the work of IALA also covers areas in radio navigation and e-Navigation.

e-Navigation is about the development of modern technology solutions to promote maritime information sharing for the benefit of efficiency and safety of navigation. The goal is to create digital solutions that enable the collection, optimization and sorting of information for the navigator as well as exchange information effectively between ship and land such as VTS (Vessel Traffic Service).

Facts about Aids to Navigation in the area of the new routes

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