With an interval of 4 years the IALA Symposium on Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) has been organized.
History IALA Symposium
In 1972 an event was hosted in London with the title ‘Conference on Maritime Engineering’. All topics however were related to maritime traffic, so this event is regarded as the first VTS symposium.
VTS in those days was still in its infancy but rapidly developed due to an increase of volume and diversity of maritime traffic and the related challenges, particularly in coastal areas, harbour approaches, ports and other confined waters.
VTS was increasingly recognized by administrations and authorities as an important instrument contributing to the safety of life at sea, safety and efficiency of navigation and the protection of the marine environment.
Internationally the delivery of VTS was regulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) under the SOLAS Convention and its associated Resolutions.
IALA – specifically through its VTS Committee – facilitated over decades the further development of VTS to a modern vessel traffic management Aid-to-Navigation providing operational, technical, organizational and training Standards, Recommendations and Guidelines.
Since 1972 the IALA VTS Symposium was successfully organized 13 times in a row and the event contributed directly through the combination of international sharing of expertise and output/recommendations to the modernization process of VTS.
Since the millennium user requirements for more, reliable and in time data and information increased – both aboard ships and ashore – as a result of the huge and rapid development of new technologies and their potential for exchanging/sharing integrated data and information between stakeholders in the maritime domain. Key issues are the harmonized implementation of technologies, the delivery of services and data management.
Under the flag of the IMO a worldwide harmonization concept was developed under the name e-Navigation. IALA – through its eNAV Committee – was/is a major contributor to the further development and implementation of this concept that significantly will affect the future delivery of VTS and its operations, technologies and organization.
Therefore it was decided to combine topics of VTS and e-Navigation in the 14th IALA Symposium in 2020.