About IALA

ENG (Aids to Navigation Engineering and Sustainability)

Committee Chair: Alwyn I. Williams (GRAD), Vice Chair: Michel Cousquer (CEREMA)

Download here the introduction to the ENG Committee for new participants

The Committee work is organised according to 4 Technical Domains, as follows.

Technical domain No. 1 – AtoN Design and Delivery
Work domains:

  • Visual signalling
  • Range and performance
  • Design, Implementation & Maintenance
  • Power Systems
  • Floating AtoN
  • Environment, Sustainability & Legacy

Technical domain No. 2 – Radionavigation Services
Work domains:

  • Satellite positioning and timing
  • Terrestrial positioning and timing (including e-Loran, eChayka, R-mode)
  • Racon & Radar positioning
  • Augmentation services (DGNSS)

Technical domain No. 3 – Training and Certification
Work domains:

  • Training and Certification

Technical domain No. 4 – Heritage Forum
Work domains:

  • AtoN heritage and legacy


1.        Introduction

Clause 1.3 in the Policy and Procedures section of the IALA Basic Documents states that a Committee should carry out its work in accordance with the following Terms of Reference.

  1. The purpose of a Committee is to create draft Documents, for example, draft standards, recommendations, guidelines, and manuals.
  2. These documents should be directed to meeting the Goals of the Strategic Vision, with effort concentrated on documents required by the content of the Priorities for the period 2018-2022 in the Strategic Vision.
  3. The Committee should work on a Work Programme which has been agreed upon by the PAP (Policy Advisory Panel), and this Work Programme should clearly show the deliverables as the draft documents indicated in (1) and (2) above.
  4. The Committee’s progress with its work and achievement of its deliverables should be reported to PAP and Council at regular intervals.

The following sets out the particular terms of reference for the ENG Committee working groups for the work period 2018-2022.

2.        Committee Structure

The AtoN Engineering & Sustainability Committee (ENG) is structured into four Working Groups to deliver the 2018 – 2022 work plan. They are:

  • WG1 – Physical Aids to Navigation;
  • WG2 – Radionavigation Services;
  • WG3 – Heritage Forum.


3.        Terms of Reference for the ENG Physical Aids to Navigation Working Group (WG1)


Visual AtoN is an essential element of safe and efficient maritime navigation. While the range of visual AtoN has reduced with the increasing use of electronic navigation systems, the need for short-range AtoN, good spatial awareness, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of visual AtoN service provision has increased. The WG1 will also look at the effective technical management based on quality control, information sharing and training that are essential elements of AtoN service provision to support efficient and environmentally friendly marine navigation.


All aspects of physical AtoN. The review, update and development of IALA documents and knowledge transfer that supports the ENG Committee Work Programme 2018 – 2022 and IALA strategy. The support of technical workshops.

  • Visual perception & marine signalling;
  • Range and Colour;
  • Light and Vision Physics;
  • Buoy’s visual aspects;
  • Beacons & day marks;
  • S-100 registry support
  • Sustainability and Environmental responsibility;
  • World Wide Academy;
  • Technical workshops;
  • Floating AtoN;
  • Civil Engineering & structural maintenance;
  • Maintenance and commissioning;
  • Work in extreme environments;
  • Power systems;
  • Remote control, monitoring and telematics;
  • Audible signals;
  • Commissioning & audit;
  • e-Navigation implementation;
  • Health & Safety;
  • Cyber security;
  • Document review & production;
  • IALA Wiki development and use;
  • Identification and delivery of potential Standards;
  • Navguide and other technical updates;


  • Appropriate draft Standards, Recommendations, Guidelines, Model Courses and Manuals, Model Courses and Product Specifications, etc., to fulfil the tasks assigned to the Working Group in the Committee Work Programme;
  • Information and relevant subtasks requested from other Working Groups within the Committee for them to fulfil their tasks;
  • Draft liaison notes etc. as appropriate;
  • Technical workshop(s) as detailed in the Committee work programme.


4.        Terms of Reference for the ENG Radionavigation Services Working Group (WG2)


Reliable position-fixing (with redundancy) is a fundamental requirement for navigation and e-navigation. This requirement has since expanded to cover all aspects of Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) inputs required by both ship and shore to enable e-Navigation.


All aspects of Positioning, Navigation and Timing systems including resilience, reliability and integrity.

Topics and activities

  • World-Wide Radionavigation Plan (WWRNP);
  • PNT Requirements for e-Navigation;
  • Radar technology, and associated aids to navigation;
  • Terrestrial positioning systems;
  • GNSS and its augmentation;
  • The requirement for terrestrial backup systems for GNSS;
  • Systems using Signals of Opportunity;
  • Inertial navigation techniques;
  • Effective fusion and integration of available PNT data;
  • PNT Performance Monitoring;
  • Development of the IALA Marine Beacon DGNSS concept;
  • Liaison with IMO, IEC, ITU, CIRM, RTCM and other bodies on PNT matters.


  • Appropriate draft Standards, Recommendations, Guidelines, Model Courses, Manuals, Product Specifications, etc., to fulfil the tasks assigned to the Working Group in the Committee Work Programme;
  • Information and relevant subtasks requested from other Working Groups within the Committee for them to fulfil their tasks;
  • Draft liaison notes etc. as appropriate;
  • Support for Technical Workshops.


5.        Terms of Reference for ENG Heritage and Culture (WG3)


Aids to navigation have a valued heritage and the history of lighthouses has an attraction for many outside the world of aids to navigation service providers and users.

In many littoral countries lighthouses and similar aids to navigation and also artefacts and publications associated with them form an important part of the national heritage and are being recorded and preserved for future generations.


All aspects of Heritage, including the preservation and maintenance of lighthouses of heritage interest, and also the preservation of artefacts and documents to guide member states in their support of The Incheon Declaration.

Topics and activities

  • Exchange of information and experience in maintenance and preservation of lighthouses;
  • Asset management of heritage buildings.


  • Develop a World Heritage Lighthouse Cyber Centre, accessible via the IALA website;
  • Develop a database on World Heritage Lighthouses;
  • Manage the ‘World Heritage Lighthouse of the Year proposal (related to the ‘World AtoN Day’;
  • Support the WWA on Heritage Model Courses
  • Deliver an Heritage Seminar.