The VTS Tech Revolution



Cdre Barry Goldman, Representative at IALA/VTS for the International Harbour Masters’ Association, UK


In an exclusive technical paper, Commodore Barry Goldman, International Harbour Masters’ Association, looks at the VTS tech revolution.

The first meaningful IMO guideline on Vessel Traffic Services (VTS), IMO Resolution A.587(14) was issued 33 years ago in November 1985. This was updated in November 1997 to the current IMO Resolution A.857(20).

In the 22 years since there has been a revolution in technology, and VTS has matured into the professional and formally certificated organization that we see today.

However, changes are in motion that should see subtle modifications dispel common misconceptions that have developed over the years.

The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) coordinated a submission calling for the current IMO resolution to be reviewed and updated.

The IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) approved this submission at its 99th session in May 2018 and passed it to the sub-committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) for action.

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