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SEA TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

The number of ships along our coasts is increasing steadily. At the same time demands for efficiency and profitability within the maritime sector are very high. To be able to meet the demands and still be able to fulfill expectations on safety and minimal environmental impact, studious planning and coordination of sea traffic will be necessary.

Up until now the maritime industry has not had a common traffic and information management system of the type used by the airline industry. Every ship has to manually collect and monitor data and information that can influence its route, and only the ship knows the details of its own route. Maintaining an overview of the surrounding world induces a considerable administrative burden for the crew. The procedure also leaves a lot of room for human error, which might result in fatal consequences.

Within the MonaLisa 2.0 project, a common system for sharing information within the maritime industry is being developed. The system is intended to enable all actors in the maritime transport chain, on sea as well as on shore, to share detailed information with each other. The aim is for improved operations, higher efficiency, increased safety and less environmental impact. The project is funded by the European TEN-T program and is coordinated by the Swedish maritime administration. Viktoria Swedish ICT is responsible for one of the work packages of the project.

“The vision is to shake up and sharpen the whole transport chain by making real-time information available to all interested and authorized parties. It is called Sea Traffic Management (STM) and it will change the maritime world. It is like introducing the Smartphone, at first no one really knows what they need it for, and then they cannot live without it,” says Magnus Sundström, at the Swedish Maritime Administration, project manager for the MonaLisa 2.0 project.

A sea traffic management system enables optimization of both routes and times for arrival at the port. Shorter routes and speed adapted to match availability of port services will contribute to saving time, money, and the environment. The environment can also benefit from Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas being avoided with proper route planning.

The system developed will be inspired by Air Traffic Management and adopted and scaled to suit the maritime sector, an approach that is likely to reduce the time required to set a new worldwide standard.

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