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IALA’s work during Covid-19 pandemic

The IALA staff have been working from home since March 16, 2020 as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. After the announcement of the French government that a strict lock down would be put in place, the IALA headquarters was shut down and the whole staff started to work from home. The staff benefited from an extensive training on the Microsoft Teams software in order to have a more efficient communication at a distance. New and innovative technology has been fully embraced by the staff who is offering to its members the same level of service and commitment as if they were in the office.

In this challenging context, after the cancellation and postponement of several meetings and events, it was decided that Council 71 could go ahead, but virtually. Consideration was taken about the different time zones and the type of technology required. The meeting was reduced to 2 hours per day and focused on the most urgent matters. The good cooperation received for this meeting to succeed, proves once again, the strength of the cooperative spirit of IALA.

Forced by the lockdown put in place in many countries and the reduction of travel, IALA, in its quest to ever improve its services to its members and it’s efficiency, is already thinking about what technology could be used to encourage working groups to continue to meet virtually and be able to keep on working to develop guidance for safer, more efficient navigation and better protection of the environment.

All the committees scheduled for the first half of 2020 were cancelled except for ARM11. The Heritage Seminar scheduled in Brazil and the Workshop on S-100 S-200 scheduled in Norway were postponed to later dates which have yet to be determined. Several working groups from VTS, ENAV and ENG organized online meetings to carry out the work that needed to go ahead during this work period. The IALA secretariat will be closely monitoring the situation, and will be communicating solutions put in place to continue the work throughout this worldwide crisis, adapting as necessary.