PRESS RELEASES

03.04.2012

Press release on the sixteenth session of the Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue (COMSAR) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Sixteenth session of the Sub-Committee on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue (COMSAR) took place from 12 to16March 2012,at IMO Headquarters, London (UK).

The main results of the Sub Committee should include the following:

The Sub-Committee endorsed the draft MSC resolution on "Recommendation for the protection of the AIS VHF data link" that draw attention to the need for the Administrationsto protect theintegrityof equipmentAISClass "A"in anticipation of the dissemination of a large volume of information from of class B devicesand other equipmenton the basis ofAIStechnology.The draft of the Resolution will be approved by MSC 91.

Sub-Committee prepared a position on issues of mutual interest in cooperation with the IMO International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as follows:

  • Preparation of a plan to revise the Recommendation ITU-R M.493-13 "Digital Selective Calling (DSC) for use in the maritime mobile service";
  • Technical and operational aspects of the use of digital selective calling, and clarify certain terms;
  • The use of the band 9200 - 9500 MHz for marine radionavigation.

As a part of the revision of the documentation theWorld-wideNavigational WarningService, the Sub-Committee endorsed the revised annex 8 of MSC.1/Circ.1382, on the International SafetyNET Service, and instructed the Secretariat to prepare a revised draft MSC circular and invited the Committee to approve it.

The actual technical and organizational aspects of the Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system have been considered. The draft MSC resolution amending resolution MSC.298 (87) on Establishment of a distribution facility has been approved. In particular, amendments include the addition of polling functionalities to the distribution facility that will allow security forces to more accurately identify the current position of ships approaching areas of high risk of piracy attack, and the implementation of the above polling functionality as an "opt-in" arrangement where the participation of flag States will be completely voluntary and each flag State will have the ability to determine which security force, if any, will be authorized to poll the position of any of their own ships that might be approaching areas of high risk of piracy attack.

Sub-Committee endorsed the draft revised Work Plan as a new unplanned output “Revision and modernization of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System” (GMDSS). Modernization of the GMDSS will involve the need to amend Chapter IV of the International SOLAS-74 (SOLAS), the revision of existing and developing new operational requirements for the ship's radio equipment, shore- basedfacilities, the establishment of procedures for the operation within the GMDSS modern technologies of information and data transmission. In accordance with the plan developed by the project to complete GMDSS modernization work on this subject is expected in 2017.

The Sub-Committee endorseddraft MSC circular on Guidance to prospective GMDSS satellite service providers.

As partof workonsearch and rescue,the Sub-Committee endorsed the following drafts of the circulars:

  • The draft revised MSC circular on Guide for cold water survival;
  • The draft COMSAR circular on Guidance on Smartphone and Other Computer Devices;
  • draft COMSAR circular on Guidance for entering and updating information on Search and Rescue into GISIS and on how to access information for operational use.

The above circulars should enter into force on 01 July 2013subject itsadoption by the MSC.

The Sub-Committee invited the MSC to extend the target completion date for the agenda item "Development of guidelines on harmonized aeronautical and maritime search and rescue procedures, including SAR training matters" to 2013.

The Sub-Committee consideredthe results of theintersessionalcorrespondence one-navigationthat prepared thedescription of the principlesof the system, proposals for a finalgap analysis,the procedure for identificationof risks,the discussionof approachesfor the preparation ofoperational standards, elements of communication,proposalsfor thee-navigation, in practice, and otheraspects.

The Sub-Committee endorsedbased on user needs the final list of gaps relevant to radiocommunications and search and rescue and instructed the Secretariat to forward it to both STW 43, for further revision from the training perspective,and NAV 58, for final consideration.

The Sub-Committee consideredtheissue of the performance byInmarsat and the operation of COSPAS-SARSAT system.It was confirmedthat INMARSAThad continued to provide a sufficient quality of service to meet its obligations under the GMDSS.

Next seventeenth session of the Sub-Committee on Radiocommunicationsand Search and Rescue (COMSAR 17) has been tentatively scheduled to take place from 21 to 25 January 2013.


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