The 70th session of the Council was held in Nouméa, New Caledonia from 10 to 13 December 2019. The Secretary-General gave a report on IALA’s activities which included the Workshop on R-Mode held in September, and the committee season that followed. The preparation for the Diplomatic Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February and the Symposium in Rotterdam, Netherlands in May were reported to be on track. He indicated that the first World Marine Aids to Navigation Day was a great success and he was looking forward to the next one. He reminded the councillors that submissions for the Lighthouse of the year were to be sent to the ENG Committee by 28 February 2020. He also indicated that with the growing number of members and participants, and IALA’s involvement in international guidance on safety of navigation, the technical department would need another technical officer. He concluded his report by updating the members on the growing membership. A paper on Strategy was developed by the Council Strategy Drafting Group and it will be further developed in a paper entitled “Drivers and Trends 2020”.
The councillors reported on National matters of particular interest to the council. These included the future of DGPS services in conjunction with SBAS developments, digitalization of information services, AIS spoofing and possible sharing of cybersecurity relevant information, sustaining success of the first world marine aids to navigation day and the ongoing and increased collaboration with the World-Wide Academy.
The secretary-general also gave more information to the councillors about the Diplomatic Conference and what is planned for the week. He went through the documents including the Final Act and the Draft Convention and answered questions councillors may have had on the procedure.
He emphasized again the great success of the First World Marine Aids to Navigation Day and introduced the proposals received from Bulgaria and Japan to host the main event for the WATON Day 2020. The council decided to accept both proposals and let the countries decided which day they would wish to make the celebration of the event the week of the 1st of July.
With regards to finance the budget for 2020 was approved and the outline budget for 2021-2023, as well as the cash flow situation as of end of October 2019, were noted.
For technical matters, five recommendations, six guidelines and one model course were approved.
Finally, the Council approved nine Industrial members and two Associate members. IALA membership was discontinued for fifteen Industrial members, and two associate members because of their resignation or their non-payment of the annual contributions.
The 71st session of the council meeting will take place from 2 to 4 June 2020 at IALA Headquarters.