E-Nav

Speaking at The Nautical Institute's 2016 AGM, Captain Yves Vandenborn AFNI of The Standard Club reveals the findings of a navigational risk review conducted by the Club on some of its member vessels. 

E-Navigation is a major IMO initiative to harmonise and enhance navigation systems and is expected to have a significant impact on the future of marine navigation. The IMO has mandated that this initiative be led by ‘user needs’.

E-Navigation is defined as: “e-Navigation is the harmonised collection, integration, exchange, presentation and analysis of maritime information onboard and ashore by electronic means to enhance berth to berth navigation and related services, for safety and security at sea and protection of the marine environment”


The IMO further describes the compelling need for e-Navigation as: A clear and compelling need to equip the master of a vessel and those ashore responsible for the safety of shipping with modern, proven tools to make maritime navigation and communications more reliable and user friendly and thereby reducing errors. However, if current technological advances continue without proper coordination there is a risk that the future development of marine navigation systems will be hampered through a lack of standardisation onboard and ashore, incompatibility between vessels and an increased and unnecessary level of complexity.

The Nautical Institute, being the leading international professional body for maritime professionals, has been and will continue to be fully engaged in the process of identifying user needs and assisting in their implementation. The Institute will do this through co-operation with other organisations, supported by the NI’s committee structure, Branch network, SeaGoing Correspondence Group (SGCG) and individual membership contributions.

The table on the right contains relevant documents or articles pertaining to the development of e-Navigation.

A twice yearly updated selection of FAQ’s about e-Navigation is maintained by IALA from a link on the left hand menu of their home page www.iala-aism.org

For further news and up to date documentation visit www.e-nav.no which is maintained by the IMO coordinators in Norway. 

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 e-Navigation holds great promise to enhance safety and efficiency in the international maritime industry. To help ensure that the promise of e-navigation is realised, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has taken steps to improve the development processes for new navigational systems.

In June 2015, the IMO approved the Software Quality Assurance and Human Centred Design Guideline for e-navigation. Using a life-cycle development process with five stages, the guideline lays out best practice methods to develop new systems for e-navigation, with a focus on quality and user experience.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority have produced a video demonstrating this guideline. View the video HERE

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