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Message from the S-G

As I write preparations are being made around the world by our international membership to celebrate the World Marine Aids to Navigation Day (WAtoN Day) which falls on 1 July and marks the day IALA was created in 1957.

On that day I will be speaking during the webinar organized for the eventa following the good work initiated in Spain, in 2019 and repeated virtually around the globe last year.  In 2018 the General Assembly of IALA established the World Marine Aids to Navigation Day and we retain the same theme: Marine Aids to Navigation-Successful Voyages, Sustainable Planet.

Without doubt the principal objective of this day is to promote greater awareness of IALA and its work by bringing to the attention of the wider public the role of marine aids to navigation and the significance of IALA’s technical work in enhancing the safety of navigation and protection of the marine environment worldwide.

In this issue of the e-Bulletin you will see much on the work of our technical committees, forever the beating heart of IALA.  Each has been working at its utmost under difficult circumstances during the time of confinement when physical face-to-face meetings have not been possible.  At the same time our Members have continued providing aids to navigation so essential for the safety of shipping and the continuous flow of food, fuel and medical supplies, along with many commodities, upon which we depend.

Staff of our members have been required to attend their normal workplace due to the essential nature of their work when responding to outages and performing vital maintenance to keep their service operational.

We expect that following a successful (WAtoN Day) the peoples of the world will come to know and appreciate the work of IALA and the highly professional staff of its members.  We look forward to seeing the pictures from around the world of the Day’s events.

IALA has certainly come a long way since 1957 and the spirit of cooperation and desire to support the vital work of other international maritime organizations remains.

We are privileged to be able to contribute to the forums of, to name two, IMO and IHO and our delegates play a valuable part in the furtherance of maritime safety in these gatherings.

For example at IMO in May the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) completed a regulatory scoping exercise for the use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) and approved a circular on this topic. This represents an important first step, paving the way for focused discussions to ensure that regulation keeps pace with technological developments.

Francis Zachariae


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