The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office has announced that Azerbaijan, Estonia and Qatar are the latest flag states to confirm their approval for the use of digital nautical publications to satisfy SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) carriage requirements.
This decisions means that the 400 plus vessels flagged by these three jurisdictions are now permitted to carry Admiralty Digital Publications (ADP) and brings the total number of flag states that have approved the use of digital nautical publications in place of their paper equivalents to 76, or 78% of the world’s shipping over 2,000GT.
ADP is a suite of digital navigation publications, comprising Admiralty Digital List of Lights, an advanced source of light and fog signals information; Admiralty Digital Radio Signals Volume 6, which provides up-to-date maritime radio communications and pilot services information; and, Admiralty TotalTide, the world’s most comprehensive tidal prediction programme.
Josephine Washington, Product Manager (Publications) at the UKHO, said: “It is positive news that the maritime authorities in Azerbaijan, Estonia and Qatar have joined many other flag states in granting their approval for Admiralty Digital Publications. This means that the flagged fleets of these nations can now benefit from the accuracy, speed and ease of use of ADP. They provide a far more user-friendly way of viewing exactly the same trusted information that the UKHO has always provided in paper form, but since updates are provided electronically every week and take just seconds to apply, the risk of human error and the time involved in manual corrections are greatly reduced, which helps to support safe and efficient navigation.”
Flag state authorities are responsible for enforcing international standards such as those set out in the SOLAS Convention which play a vital role in protecting vessels and their crews. In granting their approval for the use of digital publications, Azerbaijan, Estonia and Qatar have joined a long list of flag states of all sizes, including Greece, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Panama and Singapore. As a result, 78% of the world’s vessels over 2,000 gross tonnes in size are now permitted to use Admiralty Digital Publications for voyage planning and navigation purposes.