The IALA Committees are at the heart of the association. The IALA Council establishes a Committee when it considers that a subject or a technical matter, relevant to the aims of IALA, needs further study, clarification or discussion. The Committees constitute an international community of experts in a particular field, who prepare and review relevant IALA publications in accordance with the IALA quadrennial work programme. They also continuously monitor specific developments; these can influence the guidance offered to the IALA membership and affect decisions made in the provision of aids to navigation. Committee meetings enable all members to share expertise and experiences and keep abreast of developments in their field. The Committees normally meet twice a year at the IALA Headquarters, Saint Germain en Laye, France. Often the work of different committees can overlap. The Policy Advisory Panel (PAP) has been created to ensure coordination and communication between committees. PAP comprises of the Chair and Vice-Chair of each committee, as well as key IALA Secretariat staff. PAP normally meets twice a year, soon after a round of committee meetings. It also offers amplifying information on future work of the committees to the IALA Council.
At its meeting in December 2017 the Council decided on the new Committee Structure for the period 2018-2022.
The arrangement of four technical Committees has served IALA well over many years. An important factor is also the practical consideration of space and facilities at IALA HQ, including secretarial support and documents management.
The Committees proposed for the work period of 2018-2022 are:
When compared with the distribution of work in the 2014-2018 Committee structure, the following changes will be seen: