14 May 2013

New vessel tracking system to boost safety in Subic harbor

Vessels coming into harbor at the Subic Bay Freeport would feel doubly secure now, as the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC) installed a new vessel tracking system to help raise the level of safety in this maritime port.

SBFCC president Danny Piano said the business locators’ group installed a new Automatic Identification System (AIS) antenna on May 2 at the iconic Lighthouse Marina Resort, which is conveniently located to receive transceiver signals from ships entering or leaving Subic Bay.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Roberto Garcia welcomed the initiative of the SBFCC and said the equipment would complement the AIS that the SBMA, as manager of the maritime port, has been using to effectively keep track of vessels within its area, including those without any transmitters.

Piano said the additional AIS would help increase the level of safety in Subic Bay, which is increasingly becoming a major maritime hub.

“Placing a new vessel tracking system will boost safety and security, as it provides real-time data on ship positions and movements including arrival and departure information,” he also explained.

Piano said that the Lighthouse Marina Resort is a suitable location for the new AIS because it also has a tower equipped with a blinking white light that serves as a guide for ships.

He added that vesseltracker.com, an international provider of AIS services with a network of over 800 AIS receiver stations worldwide, is now the antenna partner of SBFCC in cooperation with The Lighthouse Marina Resort.

The Automatic Identification System is used on ships and by vessel traffic service outfits to identify and locate vessels by exchanging electronic data with other nearby ships, base stations and satellites.

Vessels fitted with AIS transceivers and transponders can be tracked by AIS base stations located along coast lines or, when out of range of terrestrial networks, through a growing number of satellites that are fitted with special AIS receivers which are capable of de-conflicting a large number of signatures.

AIS information supplements marine radar, which continues to be the primary method of collision avoidance for water transport. (HEE/MPD-SBMA)

SBFCC president Danny Piano turns over an Automatic Identification System antenna to Jozen Curva, Public Relations Officer of The Lighthouse Marina Resort.