During the latest session of the IMO NAV subcommittee routing, ships equipment and e-navigation were on the agenda. E-navigation continues to evolve with particular emphasis on gaps in current equipment, safety and training practices and operations between ship and shore in general.
Satellite AIS was discussed in relation to ship routing as it is truly the only tool providing wide area traffic analysis. It is these traffic analyses that are used to support and justify routing changes, including defining environmentally sensitive areas or zones for the protection of marine populations. Eventually Satellite AIS and E-Navigation data exchange will enable dynamic routing. Why have a permanent "keep out zone" for the protection of endangered species if those species are migratory and perhaps not even in the area? With dynamic routing capabilities, keep out zones could be defined according to where the animals are currently and Satellite AIS can then easily monitor compliance.
Satellite AIS is also the key to enabling automated ship reporting. Ship reporting requirements are one of the most onerous tasks for crews as there are international and national regulatory requirements. Satellite AIS is an obvious and comprehensive solution as it is passive and completely relieves the crew of performing any direct task associated with compliance. In fact, changes are already heading in the direction of using AIS for reporting as AUSREP- (the Australian Search and Rescue Reporting System) formally announced to the NAV subcommittee that it will using AIS as compliance to search and rescue reporting requirements.