UKHO, PLA, Peel Ports strengthen collaboration in port sector

UKHO signs MoUs with Port of London Authority and Peel Ports Group

The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the Port of London Authority (PLA) and Peel Ports Group to enhance marine data management and safety.

The new strategic partnerships aim to improve the supply, management and sharing of marine data while supporting the UKHO’s ambitions to work more closely with the UK ports and harbours community.

The agreements will help foster improved data exchange between the ports and the UKHO.

Together, PLA and Peel Ports Group are responsible for handling more than 120 million tonnes of cargo every year.

READ: Peel Ports plans £28 million ($34.9 million) warehouse facility at Port of Liverpool

Data from the port groups’ operations will be securely shared with the UKHO for the purposes of improving safety and efficiency at these critical hubs of domestic trade.

The MoUs will also enable closer collaboration on the development and implementation of next generation navigational services.

This will include the testing of new solutions based on the International Hydrographic Organisation’s new S-100 data standards and joint efforts to find more opportunities to digitalise the port environment.

Paul Marks, Head of Data Partnerships at UKHO, said: “These MoUs will enable us to more closely collaborate with the Port of London Authority and Peel Ports Group and work together with them to ensure a safer, more efficient and more sustainable maritime sector.”

READ: Port of London Authority upgrades VTS systems

PLA is responsible for 95 miles of the River Thames, including the surveying of over 400 square miles of riverbed to support safe and efficient passage.

By using multibeam survey data collected by PLA and processed by the UKHO, the organisations worked with SEAiq Pilot to carry out a piloted passage on a commercial vessel to evidence how S-102 data can improve situational awareness and navigational safety for mariners.

John Dillon-Leetch, Port Hydrographer at PLA, stated: “Having a documented MoU between the PLA and the UKHO in addition to our bilateral port agreement is a significant achievement and commitment by both organisations.

“We will be focusing our working groups to seek efficiencies and developments in the areas of ENC production including the S-100 suite of data standards, as well as automating processes related to data processing, data management and data services.”

In April 2023, Peel Ports developed a partnership programme and secured long-term agreements with a number of industry consultants to support vital projects across its operations.

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