As VTS or (Vessel Traffic Service) relies on traffic knowledge gained through surveillance techniques, up to now it has operated only in coverage of Port or Coastal AIS and Radar. Previously, the lack of surveillance techniques was an obstacle to extend VTS coverage into remote coastal areas and further offshore. By extending VTS, safety of navigation and the maritime environment will benefit from proactive measures to mitigate convergence and bottlenecks as well as better spatial planning for marine traffic.
As we begin to explore the possibilities of extending VTS beyond territorial waters, we need to take a moment and think about the various technologies that would enable such a vision. LRIT and Satellite AIS provide an excellent foundation for extending VTS providing visibility for global ship positions, including Polar Regions. Satellite AIS technology is also unique in providing detailed ship information such as speed, heading, and course over ground.
I’m hoping to address these issues at the upcoming VTS Symposium in Istanbul, Turkey running September 10-14. I will be presenting there on how these tools can be used to not only extend the range of VTS but also to enable planning based on ship modeling and traffic analysis.