Port of Tyne goes live with updated VTS

The Port of Tyne in the UK has gone live with a new Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) system, designed to improve situational awareness and decision making.

The VTS, provided by Tidalis, covers an area extending from 6 nautical miles out at sea to 3 nautical miles inland, and uses Automatic Identification System (AIS) connectivity to extend coverage over a 7 nautical mile stretch of the river Tyne up to Dunston.

The port has two Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) centres, with the primary centre continuously operating two positions. In case of an emergency, a backup position is available at a remote location.

Vessel traffic within the Port of Tyne is monitored using two Hensholdt X-band radars and two Saab R60 AIS base stations. The base stations are equipped to handle next generation AIS connectivity using the VHF Data Exchange System (VDES).

Two Bosch CCTV cameras provide further vessel information in the area, automatically controlled by radar tracking.

“As an innovation hub for the UK’s port modernisation plan Maritime 2050, Port of Tyne has strong digitalisation ambitions,” said Ivo Tummers, CEO of Tidalis.

“The new VTS and its web-oriented architecture fit seamlessly in a port where all staff have already been given tablets to streamline operations.”

By having control over their own AIS base stations, the Port of Tyne can communicate with ships via AIS mail. The port also has access to virtual Aids to Navigation (AtoN), enabling its VTS operators to dynamically create restricted zones and virtual warning buoys that automatically appear on ships’ electronic navigation charts.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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