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The Coast Guard announced in the Federal Register that it may cease broadcasting Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) over Medium Frequency (MF) after first ensuring the information contained in NAVTEX broadcasts is available via International Maritime Organization (IMO) recognized satellite services.
This notice requests public comment on the possibility of terminating the MF NAVTEX broadcast. Comments must be submitted to the online docket USCG-2019- 0702 via http://www.regulations.gov, on or before Nov. 12, 2019.
NAVTEX is an international automated service for radio broadcast delivery of navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent maritime safety information. NAVTEX provides a low-cost, automated means of receiving this information aboard ships at sea out to approximately 100 nautical miles off shore. NAVTEX is part of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), which has been incorporated into the Safety of Life at Sea treaty to which the United States is a party. The Coast Guard operates this system nationwide. For more information on MF NAVTEX in the United States, please see the Navigation Center’s website.
The Coast Guard is proposing to cease operating MF NAVTEX and instead making this information available via IMO recognized satellite services in waters under U.S. responsibility. The current MF NAVTEX equipment is in dire need of replacement. The equipment is antiquated and essential replacement parts are difficult to find and expensive, placing overall operation of MF NATEX at risk. Any approved GMDSS satellite terminal will be able to receive this information. The Coast Guard is requesting comments on this proposal to make the NAVTEX information available over satellite.
The Coast Guard believes the transition from terrestrial broadcast to satellite will provide for more reliable delivery of NAVTEX information and allow better, more cost-effective products in the future. The Coast Guard also believes this change will have a low impact on the maritime public as satellite receivers have become more prevalent onboard vessels. However, comments are requested to better understand how mariners would be affected if this change was made, particularly those mariners who use MF NAVTEX and do not currently have a GMDSS satellite terminal onboard their vessel. The Coast Guard is also seeking comments on what types of maritime safety information products mariners would like to see added in the future if the NAVTEX information was provided via satellite.
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