Message from the Secretary-General
Welcome to the September edition of the IALA e-Bulletin which is now established as our regular news medium.
I am pleased to tell you that the first announcement is now available on our website for the 20th IALA Conference to be held from 27 May to 3 June 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The theme of the Conference is ‘Marine Aids to Navigation – Innovation for a Sustainable Future’. The sessions’ papers are in production and I am sure you will not be disappointed by the broad spectrum of topics introduced.
This month, September, is seeing two events relative to PAWSA and MASS, the first by online means and distance learning, the second with a mix of virtual and face-to-face meetings at HQ.
We look forward to the Maritime Connectivity Platform (MCP) seminar on Identity Management and Security conveniently arranged on 24 September here at IALA HQ between meetings of VTS 53 and ENAV 30.
Although the last few years have been difficult, we are taking the benefits of the virtual committee arrangements to the physical domain. Committees PAP, ENAV and VTS will be held in HQ in the normal pre-Covid way. ENG, ARM and LAP will follow in subsequent weeks.
One could almost signal that life is now back to normal. We remain cautiously optimistic.
Away from St Germain-en-Laye with IHO and the Norwegian Coastal Administration we held a highly successful workshop on S-100, S-200 development and portrayal from 5 to 9 September 2022 in Alesund, Norway.
Since the last edition we celebrated World Marine Aids to Navigation Day on 1 July with our global membership and reports were most encouraging.
I was able to visit the Bulgarian port city of Burgas where the Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company provided excellent facilities for WAtoN Day. This had been brought about after two years of extraordinary measures due to the pandemic and physical attendance was a great achievement.
The conference drew together marine experts from the UK, Belgium, Spain, France, Iceland, Republic of Korea and elsewhere and included an official ceremony to present the Lighthouse of the Year award to Homigot Lighthouse in Pohang, Republic of Korea.
While in Burgas delegates were able to appreciate the history of St. Anastasia Island and its lighthouse. In addition Burgas VTMIS is responsible for marine traffic in the south section of the Bulgarian part of the Black Sea.
The IGO process is also progressing well and States that have signed the Convention are invited to transmit the instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval to France, the depositary State. All Member States of the United Nations that have not signed during the signature period, may accede to the Convention, which will enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
To close I thank all our valuable contributors to the e-Bulletin and extend the invitation to our worldwide Membership to submit articles in the months ahead.