UKHO navigates a partnership with leading electronic chart suppliers

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The UKHO (United Kingdom Hydrographic Office) has underlined its commitment to the future of safe shipping navigation by teaming up with navigational chart suppliers Kelvin Hughes and Transas.

Fully pre-loaded with the UKHO’s Admiral Vector Chart Services (AVCS), both suppliers’ Electronic Chart Display Systems (ECDIS) will comply with the future mandatory implementation of AVCS by the IMO in 2012.

The robust partnerships not only pave the way for shipping navigation and the imminent regulations coming into force; but Kelvin Hughes’ ‘ChartCo’ and the Transas Admiralty Data Service (TADS) both offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ for Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs), with data all loaded onto one system at the touch of a button.

AVCS integrates the electronic charts from national hydrographic offices across the world, and through the amalgamation, the comprehensive system will only need updating prior to sailing. This thereby allows the mariner a much greater degree of concentration on the bridge, by lessening the complications surrounding the download of the electronic charts required for specific waters.

UKHO Chief Executive, Mike Robinson said that the product ranges offered by both Kelvin Hughes and Transas, when coupled with AVCS, will provide a safer and highly efficient solution to navigation in which the international mariner can have confidence.

“UKHO recognises that this partnering agreement is a major step towards creating a compliant digital service that not only fulfils the requirements of the mariner, but assists them during the transition towards the proposed ECDIS mandation that comes into force from 2012,” he said.

“It is fundamental that we foster relationships with them to allow our customers to derive the proven benefits from the use of ENC data whilst removing some of the complexities and inconsistencies that have inhibited use to this point. This close level of collaboration will ensure that data displays appropriately and that the hardware and software work seamlessly for the mariner,” he added.

Spike Hughes, Marketing Director for Kelvin Hughes, said: “This co-operation with the UKHO to pre-fill ECDIS displays with AVCS data will make a significant contribution to the increased take up of official electronic charts. The parallel initiatives of the UKHO AVCS service and the Kelvin Hughes inclusion of chart radar functionality combine to attack the main barriers to the comprehensive adoption of electronic charts; namely lack of official data and the cost of implementation.”

Peter Mantel, Deputy Managing Director of Transas, also commented that the “through the UKHO, we have access to comprehensive ENC data from the international hydrographic community. The combination of official Admiralty data from the UKHO and the DNV type-approved Transas ECDIS system creates the optimal package for mariners worldwide.”

Both UKHO initiatives offer user-friendly services that will aid mariners with automated and semi-autmoated charts, and hope to deliver a fully IMO-compliant, safer and more technologically-advanced solution to shipping navigation.