Ehab I Etman
The Limitations Associated with the Use of AIS in VTS Operations
IMO have adopted a new requirement for ships to carry AIS, which is capable of providing information - including the ship’s identity, type, position, course, speed, navigational status and other safety and navigation related information - about the ship to other ships and to coastal authorities. AIS was introduced to improve the safety and efficiency of navigation and the protection of the environment. AIS is a great tool for VTS operations in generating a comprehensive view of the traffic in the VTS area. It will help the VTS in compiling the traffic image of the VTS area. AIS will facilitate significantly the tracking of traffic as well as the communication process throughout the VTS area. However, in order to utilize the AIS technology in the VTS operations, VTS operators, ship’s officers as well as other parties’ involved in monitoring, management and safety of maritime traffic must be aware of the system limitations and downsides. Defining such limitations will improve and facilitate the utilization of the system, for the benefit of the safety of navigation. Moreover, it will assist organizations involved in the design, as well as technical and legislative sides in overcoming such limitations in the future.