Smarter navigational technology for London’s busier river

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State-of-the-art, air traffic control communication technology is helping the Port of London Authority (PLA) improve navigational safety of visiting vessels on the tidal river Thames.

A modernisation programme, focused on maintaining safety on an increasingly busy river, has seen the installation of cutting-edge equipment at the PLA’s navigational control centres in Gravesend and Woolwich.

Used widely at airports around the world the technology, developed by Rohde & Schwarz, has also been applied by one other major world port, Hong Kong.

It will help future proof the PLA’s ability to oversee the safety of vessels on the river, from Teddington to the North Sea.

Bob Baker, the PLA’s chief harbour master, said: “Applying this innovative communications system in a marine context provides us with the resilience and reliability we need to keep the river safe for all of its users.

Earlier this year, London was confirmed as the largest port in the country by volume handled, after a break of over two decades.