Innovative online platform launched by Irish Lights to mark IALA World Aids to
Navigation Day 2023
The Commissioners of Irish Lights (Irish Lights) has
announced the launch of its new Local Aids to Navigation Management Portal for
use by ports, harbours, Local Authorities and other bodies who manage aids to
navigation at a local level. This state-of-the-art online platform will enhance the
management and reporting of aids to navigation services, ensuring safe and efficient
maritime operations in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
There are over 3,500 local aids to navigation comprising lighthouses, buoys,
beacons, poles, and signs that play a crucial role in ensuring maritime safety by
assisting vessels in the identification of safe navigable waters and highlighting the
locations of marine hazards for all marine users. They are used to maintain efficient
and safe navigation routes while also marking aquaculture sites, identifying the
locations of cables and pipelines, outfall pipes and the locations of recreation zones
such as those used for swimming.
These local aids to navigation are managed by Local Lighthouse Authorities,
including ports and harbours, local authorities, district and borough councils, who will
rely on this new portal to fulfil their responsibilities effectively. The portal will also
allow for the management of the statutory sanction consenting process which is
required when an aid to navigation is being established, altered or removed. This
ensures that the change has been risk assessed and that the information is included
on nautical charts and publications for use by seafarers.
Irish Lights plays a crucial role in guaranteeing the safe and efficient operation of
these vital services in Ireland, North and South, and is the authority responsible for
the quality assurance of local aids to navigation services under
the international SOLAS Convention.
To facilitate Local Lighthouse Authorities in executing their duties and meeting their
legal obligations under the Merchant Shipping Acts, Irish Lights has developed an
intuitive Geographical Information System (GIS) based management and reporting
tool within the portal. This innovative solution enhances the situational awareness of
the Local Lighthouse Authority by presenting the aid to navigation against the
backdrop of the nautical chart, showing the position of adjacent hazards and
including spatial measurement tools. The portal provides a documents facility for
“Irish Lights has worked closely with the Local Lighthouse Authorities to create aportal that greatly improves maritime safety in Ireland. This portal serves as a centralhub where information is managed, inspections are conducted efficiently, andcomprehensive reports on local aids to navigation are generated. It enablesseamless sharing of data among stakeholders, giving decision-makers thenecessary tools to quickly report and manage dangers,”
said Ronan Boyle, Director of eNavigation and Maritime Services at Irish Lights.
“This portal provides an easy-to-use and reliable management and reporting tool based on GIS technology,empowering those using it to carry out their responsibilities more efficiently andeffectively”.
The launch of the Local Aids to Navigation Portal coincides with the internationally-celebrated IALA World Aids to Navigation Day 2023, further demonstrating Irish Lights' dedication to global collaboration and the progress of aids to navigation
practices worldwide. World Aids to Navigation Day celebrates the ever-increasing significance of maritime trade and the need to protect our oceans and those who navigate them, with Irish Lights' at the forefront of leveraging cutting-edge technology
to safeguard maritime safety and protecting our coastlines in Ireland.