USCG Safety Alert - New class B AIS transponders may not be discernable with older AIS software

11 Aug 2011 Resource

With the approval of Class B AIS transponders for use in the USA, the USCG (U.S Coast Guard) has issued a safety alert.
Although all Class A devices will receive Class B information; unfortunately, some older Class A models are unable to render this information on their Minimum Keyboard and Display (MKD) or may only have available the Class B vessel's dynamic data (i.e. position, course and speed) but not its static data (i.e. vessel name, call-sign). Therefore, the Coast Guard cautions new AIS Class B users to not assume that they are being 'seen' by all other AIS users or that all their information is available to all Class A users.

Further, the USCG strongly encourage users of certain AIS Class A units to, as soon as practicable, update their MKD's and/or other external navigation display systems (e.g. Electronic Charts Systems, Electronic Chart & Display Information Systems, radar, etc.) in order to view this new stream of valuable AIS information that will enhance navigation safety and mitigate the risk of collision.

A link to a listing of USCG type-approved AIS Class A units which require a firmware update in order to display AIS Class B information is shown below.

Listing of USCG type-approved Class A Units requiring update >>

List of USG Approved