News & Events

World Marine AtoN Day

The Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company organized the main event for the WATON Day 2022 on 1 July 2022.


BPI Co. gathered together in Burgas global experts for the WAtoN Day.

I am grateful to the Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company for the excellent cooperation in the 11 years, during which the Company has been the member of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), commented the Secretary General Francis Zachariae, who opened the international conference for the World Marine Aids to Navigation Day (WAtoN Day) on 1 July 2022 in Burgas. He expressed his satisfaction with the fact that after 2 years of extraordinary measures due to the pandemic, the WAtoN Day was finally taking place with physical attendance, and particularly in Bulgaria.

The conference, which was part of the prestigious event, gathered together marine experts from the UK, Belgium, Spain, France, Iceland, Republic of Korea, etc. at the International Congress Center Burgas. The event included an official ceremony for the awarding of the Lighthouse of the Year award. It was awarded to the Homigot Lighthouse in Pohang, with a total height of 26,4 meters, making it the tallest lighthouse in the Republic of Korea.

Participants were able to get acquainted with the exciting history of the St. Anastasia Island and to visit the local lighthouse. The functionalities of the navigation control system in the south section of the Bulgarian part of the Black Sea, the hub of which is the Coastal Center for Vessel Traffic Management and Information Services Burgas – operated by BPI Co.

The mission of the WAtoN Day is to improve public awareness, regarding the navigation aids. The decision that the celebration takes place on July 1 was made in the Republic of Korea on 2018 during IALA’s General Assembly. Bulgaria has been an active member of the IALA on a national level for many years, being represented there by BPI Co., which takes part in a number of technical committees and in the work on the drafting of modern standards, recommendations and guidelines in the areas of navigation safety. The opportunity to host WAtoN Day is a major recognition of Company’s efforts in the area of adoption and implementation of innovative scientific and technical achievements in the area of water transport.

In parallel, everyone is invited to organize local events and/or to share photos of Marine Aids to Navigation and celebrate on the day through social media and/or local events.

Provisional Programme for the main event

10:30 – 11:00 – Welcome coffee

11:00 – 11:15 – Opening speeches:

Ms Anna Natova, Director General of Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company (BPI Co.)

Rear Admiral Kiril Mihaylov, Commander of the Bulgarian Navy

Mr Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA)

11:15 – 11:30 – Capt. Milen Todorov, Director Vessel Traffic Services Authority, BPI Co.: “Management, Information Services and Provision of Navigational Safety in the Maritime Spaces and Ports of Bulgaria – Systems, Innovation and Future”

11:30 – 11:45 – Lt Cdr Nikolay Lyaskovski, Assistant Director of Bulgarian Navy Hydrographic Service, “Opportunities for modernization of the Aids to Navigation at the Bulgarian Navy Hydrographic Service”

11:45 – 12:00 – Mr Minsu Jeon, Technical Operation Manager (IALA), on IALA activities and plans

12:00 – 12:15 – Mr Omar Eriksson, Dean of the World-wide Academy and Deputy Secretary General (IALA), on the activities of the World-wide Academy

12:15 – 12:30 – Lighthouse of the year Celebration (TBA)

12:30 – 13:00 – Еxhibition “Lighthouses and other means of navigation support on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast”

13:00 – 13:30 – Transfer from the Public Access Area of Port of Burgas to St. Anastasia Island

13:30 – 14:30 – Lunch

14:30 – 16:00 – Tour of St. Anastasia Island, visit to St. Anastasia Island Lighthouse and the Museum

16:00 – 16:30 – Transfer from St. Anastasia Island to the Public Access Area of Port of Burgas

16:30 – 17:00 – Visit to the Coastal Center for Vessel Traffic Management and Information Services Burgas

17:00 – 19:30 – Free time

19:30 – 22:30  – Dinner, Neptun Restaurant

Airport information Hotels nearby are “Bulgaria”: and “Burgas”:

Download the WATON Day logo here.