Navigation Systems

Summary of Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR), 8th session

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) sub-committee for Navigation, Communications, and Search & Rescue (NCSR-8), met virtually from Monday 19 April to Friday 23 April.

The major outcome of this meeting was the approval of SOLAS Chapter III and IV revisions for the modernization of Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). The revisions will be considered by MSC 105 in October of this year and if adopted, the changes will take effect 1 January 2024.

The topic on using public broadband communications and technical standardization for public mobile networks in the context of maritime safety was briefly discussed. Due to the meeting constraints the topic will be referred to the IMO-International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Joint Experts Group (JEG) meeting in November for further consideration.

A brief discussion took place on the electromagnetic interference effects on light emitting diodes (LED) and the impact on maritime safety. This issue will remain on the agenda and will continue to be worked on by ITU and the IMO-ITU JEG. The United States expects to provide significant input at the next meetings as we report out the results of our current LED Study.

Iridium Communications Inc., completed their first year as a recognized GMDSS satellite provider. Several issues have arisen due to this recognition. Most notably is the cost to provide Maritime Safety Information (MSI) by the twenty one Navigation/Meteorological Area providers. This topic was referred to the Maritime Safety Committee for resolution.

The other issues of note on this agenda item were the work on the Iridium SafetyCast service manual, the methodology for broadcast, the implementation of Iridium GMDSS SAR services, monitoring of GMDSS broadcasts and other interoperability issues that didn’t exist under a single provider system. Additional work will be needed for a future session of NCSR to complete.

The full meeting summary is is available on the IMO Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR), 8th session, 19-23 April 2021 website.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official publications, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These publications remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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