Today we celebrate WAtoN Day 2023

Published 01-07-2023

Maritime administrations around the world are celebrating the World Marine Aids to Navigation (WatoN) Day today.

On WAtoN Day, we focus on aids to navigation’s (AtoN’s) important role in guiding ships safely through our waters, as well as the work of developing new technological aids to navigation.

Recently, the Danish Maritime Authority has carried out tests of drone-assisted inspection of floating AtoN in the area of Vejle Fjord in Denmark. The pilot project involved the utilisation of drones in order to clarify whether it is possible to streamline our obligatory supervision of privately owned and municipal floating AtoN in Danish waters.

When we inspect, for example, a buoy, we check whether its position matches the Sea Chart and our AtoN register, as well as whether the color and shape are in proper condition. By using drones for this inspection, we can very quickly get detailed images and position data, without having to sail out and manually inspect the AtoN. This is easier, faster and more environmentally friendly than traditional inspection methods that rely on fossil fuel-powered vessels.

This allows for more frequent and regular assessments of the AtoN, ensuring their continuous functionality and minimizing the risk of accidents or navigational hazards.

The pilot project in Vejle Fjord was carried out by WeFly A/S on behalf of the Danish Maritime Authority. The tests went very well, and the DMA continues to assess this new approach to AtoN inspection.


Danish Maritime Authority

Facts about WAtoN Day

  • WAtoN Day is an annual recurring event on 1 July.
  • The day was established in 2018 by IALA (the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities).
  • This year, the main event will take place in the port city of Tangier in the Kingdom of Morocco.