ACCSEAS: e-Navigation in the North Sea Region

Martin Bransby, A. Williams, G. Shaw, P. Williams, C. Hargreaves, G. Button, P. Cruddace and A. Grant

Abstract: The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland are participating and leading an international project in the North Sea Region (NSR) of Europe to plan and deliver prototype e-Navigation services. ACCessibility for Shipping, Efficiency Advantages and Sustainability (ACCSEAS) aims to identify issues which obstruct maritime access to the North Sea, identify solutions, prototype and demonstrate these successful solutions in an e-Navigation test-bed at the North Sea regional level as ‘proof-of-concept’ and to develop a sustainability plan for future e-Navigation provision in the NSR and will look to inform e-Navigation initiative globally. The entire process of the implementation of prototype solutions in the e-Navigation test-bed will be supported by training and simulation, so that the test-bed will have aspects of both real-world and simulated implementation. ACCSEAS is a transnational project that brings together Beneficiaries (including competent navigation authorities from Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom); and is part funded through the European Regional Development Fund’s INTERREG IVB NSR initiative. European transport policy provides a shift to seaborne transport, using Short Sea Shipping to avoid road bottle necks to the movement of goods, services and people. This modal shift requires efficient and effective marine navigation services. The NSR, as a maritime hub, is at risk from increased shipping congestion and transport delays, safety issues and pollution/environmental risks that would inhibit the socio-economic development of the NSR. This is exacerbated by the proliferation of offshore installations (such as wind farms) for renewable energy. Globally, there is a trend towards larger bulk cargo and container carrying ships, which operate side-by-side with fishing boats and leisure craft in the same congested waters. Without the innovative services of e-Navigation, berth-to-berth operations may become less efficient. There may be increased risk of collisions and groundings, adversely impacting accessibility of ports and the effectiveness of logistics in the region. Consequences could be severe in terms of reduced economic sustainability, more environmental pollution incidents and the threat to safety-of-life. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) concept of e-Navigation, formally recognised by the EU and the US, provides a potential solution via harmonised, integrated and exchangeable electronic maritime information on-board and ashore. The NSR, as a crossroads of regional and global shipping, is well positioned to benefit from an implementation of e-Navigation that can increase the efficient use of resources, provide better voyage planning and track-keeping and deliver improvements in regional accessibility. The North Sea presents unique challenges that will demand unique solutions both at priority locations and at the regional scale. Only through the NSR and the ACCSEAS project specifically, can the maritime administrations in the region be coordinated to address implementation of the e-Navigation solution to accessibility and to integrate with regional research providers, training organisations and suppliers. ACCSEAS project partners have identified a number of potential e-Navigation services which aim to help alleviate NSR navigation risks. This paper provides an update on how the project is progressing and will introduce the different proposed e-Navigation services, explaining their aims, benefits and how they will be developed for inclusion in the ACCSEAS test-bed and demonstrations. The paper will also report on how the ACCSEAS test bed is being developed and how it will become a legacy for use in future projects, as well as reporting on completed and planned demonstrations as the project moves towards its scheduled completion in 2015.
Published in: Proceedings of the 27th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2014)
September 8 - 12, 2014
Tampa Convention Center
Tampa, Florida
Pages: 759 - 781
Cite this article: Bransby, Martin, Williams, A., Shaw, G., Williams, P., Hargreaves, C., Button, G., Cruddace, P., Grant, A., "ACCSEAS: e-Navigation in the North Sea Region," Proceedings of the 27th International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS+ 2014), Tampa, Florida, September 2014, pp. 759-781.
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