Key comments from the ECDIS E-NAV focus day at the 21st International Maritime Pilots Association Congress

Sep 26 2012

The 2012 Congress was held in London and the team from Witherbys exhibited their range of ECDIS publications during the ECDIS and E-Nav sessions on Tue 25th Sept.


Some comments from the conference

"GPS was inconceivable 30 years ago"

"Prior to GPS, a Pilot was the closest thing to real time positioning on the bridge"

"More Pilots are seeing the blue windows screen on ECDIS paperless ships; I’ve seen it twice myself!"

"I am seeing cases where the ship’s draught has not been updated with the new deeper ship’s draught on the ECDIS, and it has only been the Pilot that has noticed rather than the ship’s bridge team"

"Marine Pilots following air pilots’ training, ie gain proficiency in visual flight training before instrument flight training"

"Since 1970, ships have on average got 5.2 metres longer every year"

Or, our particular favourites 

"(with reliance on ECDIS) you are only a computer crash from being back to basics"
Capt Jorge Viso
Tampa Bay pilot and chairman of the APA's Navigation Technology Committee



"ECDIS alarm settings should be on the Pilot Card"
Capt Nicholas Bayle  FFPM
Pilot Marseille-Fos, France.



"By 2020, China will be operating 17 LNG terminals and importing 65 million tonnes per annum"
Capt Yu Bockeng
Senior Pilot, Shanghai Maritime Pilots’ Association

An update on the Panama Canal expansion was given, with the following highlights:


• There will be no locomotives used any more.  (Where you currently could have ship of 22m beam being pulled into a 33m lock with locomotives, you will have the future scenario where a 49m beam ship being pulled into a 55m with no locomotives)


• The choice of lock was a huge issue, with an Italian company eventually winning the contract to supply the locks


• Each new lock position has been constructed with a duplicate in-situ lock providing 100% redundancy


• The official date for opening is October 2014 and, after about 6 months of trials and testing, it will open for commercial transit in Q1 2015.


• Once open, the deepest accepted draught will be 15 metres however, the new locks have been fitted to be capable of receiving ships of 18 metres draught.


• If the contractors do not finish on time, the fine they will pay is US$300,000 per day!


• IMPA XX11 Congress will be hosted by Panama in 2014

Capt. Alvaro Moreno
Elected President of the Panama Canal Pilots’ Association in 2006 and a member of the Executive Board in 2010 and 2012.



A pilot illuminates the digital column in thefoyer of the Grange Hotel St. Pauls, London.