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IALA World-Wide Academy

Academy news

Academy news

Watch this video on technical cooperation with Seychelles Islands

News from Lebanon, Mr. Afif Ghaith sharing his experiences in working with the Academy

In May 2021, 9 months after the Beirut Port blast, a first contact between the Academy and Lebanon was established through the Mediterranean and Black Sea Hydrographic Committee (MBSHC). The Academy informed to be ready to conduct a technical mission on short notice, aiming to evaluate the AtoN service delivery in Lebanon.

In August 2021 the Academy sent an expert to conduct a 10 day technical needs assessment mission. Among Beirut and Tripoli Port several other ports and locations where visited. 

During stakeholder meetings this expert acted as mediator between parties, in some cases it was the first time for these parties to work together. This resulted in a final agreement between the stakeholder to continue such cooperation on Safety of Navigation matters and formalize this in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in due time.

The mission had a very positive effect during one of the most difficult periods in Lebanon.  My country signing national membership to IALA already in August was a great achievement.

After the mission, the WWA followed-up with AtoN manager and risk assessment training dedicated to Lebanese Navy personnel. This training was needed as one of the outcomes of the mission was the need to conduct formal risk assessments in the waters of Lebanon, an obligation under SOLAS Ch. V, Reg 12 and 13. The stakeholder meetings from the technical mission in 2021 formed a sound basis for a PASWA workshop in May 2022. 

We had the honor to have the Deputy Secretary-General of IALA and a WWA expert as observer in the workshop.

During this event, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between IALA and MARSATI in order to further develop AtoN and VTS training capabilities in Lebanon and in the region.

I am very pleased to be designated as Advisor to support the Academy it’s work and hope other countries will benefit from this, same as my country did.

Commander Afif GHAITH

Director of the Lebanese Navy Hydrographic Service

Technical Cooperation Visit of Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo visited IALA Headquarters for technical cooperation with the Academy. This is part of the preparations for a technical needs assessment mission the Academy plans to conduct in September 2022. Using the nautical charts, we identified which places to focus on.

Mission to the Republic of Cape Verde

The IALA World-Wide Academy conducted a technical cooperation visit in Cape Verde which is an archipelago and island country in the central Atlantic Ocean, consisting of ten volcanic islands. Besides meeting with various stakeholders, the team met with the Minister of the Sea, Mr. Abraao Vicente, who showed strong maritime commitment. 

This follow-up of a technical needs assessment mission that took place in 2016 aims at evaluating the provision of marine aids to navigation services in Cape Verde and to provide advice on the process for Vessel Traffic Service Implementation.

The timing of this mission was chosen as now the new IMO Resolution A.1158(32) Guidelines for Vessel Traffic Service can be taken in account.

The Academy has a strategy to help coastal States make informed decisions with respect to VTS through providing a framework for determining practical needs by means of risk assessment as well as offering guidance on effective implementation, governance and the training and certification of VTS professionals.

The Academy experts were also very pleased to see continuous improvements on the physical Aids to Navigation and not only in the Cape Verde main ports.

Every single fishing community along the coastline, in total 27 remote places, are provided with a single lit beacon to bring home safely all fishermen. It is often forgotten that SOLAS Chapter V applies to all classes of ships including a wooden fishing boat.

Instituto Marítimo Portuario (IMP) understands this very well and they are an example of good practice in the region.

During the visit we celebrated international women’s day. The team conducted an inspection from seaward together with Ms. Samira Semedo.

She is a pilot at Praia in Cape Verde since 2021. Before she started as pilot she served as chief officer at the merchant marine. She studied and lived for a while in Brazil where she met her husband, a chief engineer. As an important stakeholder she brought a lot of value and essential input to the technical visit.

IALA and its Academy look forward to continue our technical cooperation with the IMP.


Join the Academy “on the road” during a technical cooperation visit in the Republic of Guatemala.

with Spanish subtitles
with English subtitles

PAWSA Workshop Port of Antwerp

It was a pleasure for the Academy participating as observer to the Port of Antwerp Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA). The PAWSA tool is an advanced, structured process that identifies risk factors and evaluates risk control options through expert input. The process requires a competent facilitator and the participation of professional waterway users and stakeholders. If you are interested to learn more about PAWSA then please note that a PAWSA course will start on-line in November. All information can be found via this link: https://lnkd.in/gc6r_iwh


Mission to the Republic of El Salvador

The Academy conducted a technical mission to the Republic of El Salvador. We had a meeting with the Minister of Public Works, just 29 years old; the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, a brilliant young lady, and many other stakeholders. They all showed strong commitment to improve Safety of Navigation and become part of the IALA family. Jaime Alvarez, technical officer at IALA, joined the mission as Spanish translator.

Stakeholder meeting with hydrographic office

Technical visit at Acajutla Port

Meeting with the Minister of Public Works & Transport

Mission to the Republic of Lebanon

The Academy conducted a technical needs assessment mission to the Republic of Lebanon and as a result of this mission the Ministry of Transport and Public Works applied for national membership to IALA. During this mission several stakeholder meetings took place and it was decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between them. This will result in better cooperation on Safety of Navigation matters and improve the Aids to Navigation and Hydrographic Service Provision. The Academy will follow-up with AtoN training and the facilitation of risk assessments in the near future.



On the road again

Since March 2020, the Academy has been affected by the Pandemic, which effectively stopped all travel activity and made it impossible to conduct technical missions. Since then, the Academy has conducted all its meetings online and came up with the so called Micro Seminars to follow up on previous Technical missions. Finally the Pandemic has loosened its grip a little bit, and the Academy can now slowly resume its travel activity.

Mission to Lebanon

The first physical mission in 2021 went to Lebanon where the Academy provides support and advice on matters relating to Aids to Navigation service provision.

Vessel traffic service

Meet VTS operator Ihab at Beirut Port. A VTS system was established in 1998, but unfortunately in 2006 , the radar towers were damaged during the war.

Stakeholder meeting

Initial stakeholder meeting at Beirut Port Authority. The harbourmaster informed on Aids to Navigation and the chief pilot described various challenges. A Traffic Separation Scheme is being discussed.

VTS-ENAV Symposium 2021
– the participants

After the VTS-ENAV Symposium, Academy News interviewed a few participants to learn what they took away from the Symposium.

IALA VTS-ENAV Symposium 2021

The IALA VTS-ENAV Symposium was held virtually in April 2021 and Academy News went behind the scenes to see what was going on.

There is a Book of Abstracts if you are interested in what went on at the Symposium.