The STM (Sea Traffic Management) Validation project has welcomed a sixth shore centre to its European testing network, with Tallinn VTS joining the project as the first shore centre to come onboard outside of the five-strong EU-funded grouping.
“We wanted to join Sea Traffic Management (STM) as soon as possible. The prerequisite for vessel ensuring traffic safety and providing vessel traffic services is to know vessels’ intentions and their exact sailing plans and this is what the STM route and data exchange services do,” Are Piel, head of VTS department, Estonian Maritime Administration.
“I foresee the route exchange system as an absolutely new level in ensuring vessel traffic safety. The prerequisite for ensuring vessel traffic safety and providing vessel traffic services is to know vessels’ intentions and their exact sailing plans, and this is what the STM route and data exchange services do.”
“If we can predict possible conflicts between vessels early enough, it is much easier to rearrange traffic safely and smoothly. It also allows providing more accurate time of arrival thus implement just in time concept which reduces sailing expenses. For the implementation of unmanned vessels in future, STM-enabled systems is a must to have to provide grounds for smooth and safe vessel traffic.”
Wärtsilä has installed a stand-alone system for STM functions in Tallinn, with screens displaying the STM-enabled system located in the VTS centre providing overview of traffic situations to all operators on the shift.
“There are three major landmarks in the history of VTS,” said Anders Johannesson, Swedish Maritime Administration, coordinator of the validation of VTS services in the STM Validation project.
“Radar is telling us that something is coming. AIS is telling us who is coming. And STM will tell us the intentions of the ships coming towards us, which will take VTS to a totally new level.”
The five shore centres that have already been involved in the STM testing phase are Gothenburg, Sweden, the Danish national surveillance centre, the VTS in Horten and Kvitsöy, Norway, and VTS Tarifa in Spain overlooking traffic in the Strait of Gibraltar. Saab, Navicon, Kongsberg and Wärtsilä are the four suppliers of STM-enabled systems.