In the STM BALT SAFE project, it is the first time we get to see a full-scale route exchange ship-VTS. Mikko Klang from Fintraffic sees the opportunities route exchange brings to the VTS: “We are about to make a cultural change!” After three days of simulations all participants were inspired by the possibilities route exchange bring. The VTS operators in the simulations agree with the safety aspect that the project is aiming for. It seems similar to AIS, which was created for safety but became so much more. It is not until you work with the tool you discover all the possibilities.
Turning new functions based on route exchange between ship and shore into VTS know-how is assisted by new guidelines for "best practice". We call them STM VTS Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) which complement the existing VTS SOP in situations where the new STM-based information can be used.
The European Union and all its member countries submitted a paper on digital exchange of vessel route plans that can lead to increased safety, reduced administrative burden and more efficient operations, combined with reduced environmental impact. It is an important building block in IMOs Maritime Services to achieve massive fuel and emissions savings through just-in-time arrivals.
Ships are required to manually report voyage related information in 23 special reporting areas across the globe. A new emerging standard makes automated reporting possible. The STM BALT SAFE project has also released the first version of the automated reporting service. The solution lowers the administrative burden on board and help minimizing reporting errors.