NMSA steps up with technology - Papua New Guinea National Maritime Safety Authority
The National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) can now independently monitor and coordinate vessel traffic within PNG waters.
This was made possible through a joint training session with a contractor Vissim from Norway and their authorised representative M-NAV Solutions (M-NAV) in the Pacific partnered to pursue the opportunity presented by the ‘CSTB 3834 Automatic Identification System (AIS) Coastal Network Extension & Base Station Installation’ project, under the Asian Bank Development funded-PNG Maritime & Waterways Safety Project (MWSP).
AIS is a digital VHF data broadcast and interrogation technology used for ship and shore- based monitoring and tracking and is mandatory by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for use on international voyaging ships. The scope required the coastal station sites to receive and transmit the AIS data to a Vessel Monitoring Centre (VMC) in Port Moresby. The scope of the VMC included a redundant server system for the receipt, processing, storage and management of the AIS data, connected to a number of supervisor and operator stations equipped with state of the art software and displayed on a large multi- screen geographical display.
The combined coverage of the Coastal AIS Network and capabilities of the VMC have now given the PNG NMSA a system that provide surveillance and monitoring capabilities for a large portion of PNG coastal waters. It will allow the NMSA to monitor and track the movement of vessels, identify and deal with potential non-compliances, assist with Search and Rescue operations and mitigate the risk of shipping related incidents to coastal communities and the marine environment.
Six staff from the Maritime Domain Awareness & Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre recently underwent a 5-day operator training on the Vessel Tracking Monitoring Systems whereby staff should learn how to use the VTMS to a proficiency where they independently can operate equipment, monitor and coordinate vessel traffic.
NMSA General Manager/CEO, Paul Unas when congratulating the staff said this is a huge investment and urged the participants to fully utilise what they learnt and put into good use.
He said: “The VTMS supports the industry and in doing so NMSA is providing a platform which will allow business to prosper.”
Mr Unas said this training is inline with NMSA’s corporate aim to position itself to continue to deliver its mandated roles & responsibilities.