Level 3, Defens Haus, Cnr Champion Pde & Hunter St, Port Moresby, PNG
Maritime Emergency (675) 305 4631

Vessel Tracking & Monitoring - Papua New Guinea National Maritime Safety Authority

Automatic Identification System (AIS)

The automatic identification system (AIS) is an automatic tracking system used on ships and by vessel traffic services (VTS) for identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships, AIS base stations, and satellites.

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires AIS to be fitted aboard international voyaging ships with gross tonnage (GT) of 300 or more, and all passenger ships regardless of size.

AIS Base Stations in PNG

NMSA has five (5) terrestrial AIS base stations installed in Port Moresby, Alotau, Lae, Madang and Rabaul. Three additional base stations installed recently in the Jomard Passage, Tuam Island and St.George Channel were installed as part of the Coastal Monitoring Services (CMS) systems for tracking and monitoring of vessels trading within PNG waters.


Vessel Tracking Capabilities

In ensuring safety of shipping, improving maritime domain awareness and aid in the prompt safety of lives at sea, NMSA has employed Vessel Tracking Capabilities in accordance with the “The revised Chapter V, Safety of Navigation, of the Annex to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS V).

At present NMSA has vessel tracking capabilities, two of which are satellite tracking systems (web-based) and a standalone Terrestrial AIS tracking system.

They are;

  1. Coastal Monitoring System (CMS)
    Standalone Terrestrial AIS tracking system with stations at 3 remote and strategic locations in PNG.

    • Jomard Passage
    • Tuam Island
    • St. George Channel
  2. Long Range Identification Technology (LRIT)
    Web based Long Range AIS tracking system utilizing Satellite services for ALL PNG registered vessels of more than 300GT and that trade abroad or voyage  overseas. LRIT was setup primarily for “Security” and “Search & Rescue”.
  3. AMSA Craft Tracking System (CTS)
    With a data sharing agreement with Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) as regional coordinator for Area X, NMSA also has access to AMSA’s CTS, a web based AIS tracking system utilizing both Terrestrial and Satellite services for most of South East Asia to South Pacific Region.


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