Charting our Future Course
The Irish Lights strategy 2015 & Beyond – Charting our Future Course was launched in October 2012.
The strategy sets our vision that will benefit all of our stakeholders – employees, government, light dues payers, aids to navigation users, coastal communities, customers and partner organisations.
We will continue to provide a high-quality public safety service, while also leveraging our assets and competencies to deliver added value and commercial services. This will secure our economic base and improve our strategic value to stakeholders.
Transformation of Irish Lights
In 2009, we began implementing a modernisation programme in order to:
- Improve our service to mariners
- Cut costs
- Reduce headcount
- Rationalise operations
- Sublet properties
- Exploit new sources of income
- Use technology effectively
- Deliver additional value to the principal stakeholders
As a result, we reduced our costs (over five years) by €6 million per annum – a 30% budget adjustment plus a 34% reduction in staff. We also began to use our assets and resources to secure commercial income and to support other organisations and agencies.
Irish Lights Strategic Plan & Business Strategies
Our strategy, "2015 & Beyond – Charting Our Future Course" is built around three pillars. Each pillar has a core objective, a delivery mechanism, an agreed approach and timescales for delivery.
Pillar 1: Streamlining Marine Aids to Navigation Provision and Delivery continues the strategy of reducing costs and using new technology. The results are reflected in excellent performance against targets, high standards of AtoN availability and low outages/failures.
Pillar 2: Delivering New Commercial and Value-Added Services focuses on commercial exploitation of our assets.
- Commercialisation will reduce the burden on light dues payers and the Exchequer, our primary sources of funds.
- Consolidation of lighthouse stations releases property for alternative uses. This will benefit local communities through enterprise creation and will help reduce our operational costs.
- We have established memoranda of understanding (MoU) with state agencies such as the Irish Coast Guard, the Commission for Communications Regulation and the Commission for Energy Regulation that recognise the benefits of cooperation and collaboration to deliver value for stakeholder funds.
Pillar 3: Exploiting Irish Light’s Coastal Technology and Communications Networks envisages exploitation of the additional potential of our platforms, coastal network and technical expertise to provide commercial and value-added services. Such services range from real-time MetOcean data for mariners and other coastal stakeholders to improved communications for communities on the coastal periphery.
Recent performance and achievements
- Consolidated station infrastructure and equipment, resulting in long-term maintenance savings
- Outsourced station painting, resulting in significant savings
- Reduced back-office administration through business process automation and the introduction of online systems
- Delivered the aids to navigation (AtoN) service in accordance with IALA standards, recommendations and guidelines
- Continued to develop the AtoN portal for Local Lighthouse Authorities
- Continued to transfer AtoN to Local Lighthouse Authorities as part of the 2010 AtoN Review, resulting in lower costs
- Using new LED and solar technologies in lighthouses and buoys to improve reliability and reduce maintenance
- Deployed virtual AtoN to mark wrecks and other hazards
Alliances & partnership
- Building strategic alliances and expanding MoUs with State bodies and agencies
- Establishing new partnership contracts for assembly and provision of third-party marine aids to navigation
- Providing e-Navigation consultancy services to Local Lighthouse Authorities and other users
- Developed new data and consultancy services for the offshore renewable energy sector
- Established an e-Navigation demonstrator project (Dublin Bay Digital Diamond) to test and demonstrate various components of e-Navigation
- Increased the number of charter days for ILV Granuaile
Development & upgrading
- Nearing completion of the DGPS network capital replacement project
- Upgrading coastal communications links to 3G (4G enabled)
Trials & investigations
- Successfully trialled MetOcean data capture and delivery of an information service via social media and a data portal
- Reviewing market/stakeholder requirements for the delivery of value-added services via our monitoring and coastal communications networks
- Trialling new MetOcean sensors
- Progressing the possibility of a shared GLA helicopter contract
- Working with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) and stakeholders in establishing a revised Light Dues charging mechanism
- Reassessed and confirmed the requirement for Priority 2 AIS marine AtoN
- Exploring further GLA synergies and integration opportunities, to create economies of scale
All-Island Lighthouse Tourism Trail
- Awarded an EU tourism infrastructure grant aimed at developing key sites around the northern coastline as part of a major new initiative, our All-Island Lighthouse Tourism Trail.
- Participating in and supporting the GLA-led ACCSEAS – Accessibility for Shipping, Efficiency Advantages and Sustainability (transnational e-Navigation test bed) project.