3rd ASEAN-Japan regional meeting, 13th February 2017
February 13-17, Japan Coast Guard generously hosted the 3rd ASEAN-Japan Regional meeting on VTS operator training. Apart from Japan Coast Guard and Japan Aids to Navigation Association (JANA) there was attendance from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and IALA. The meeting, which was very successful, discussed various aspects of VTS operator training, including the skills and knowledge needed to become a VTS operator and the certification process for VTS operators.
Japanese Coast Guard has been a member of IALA since 1959 and hosted the IALA Conference in Tokyo in November 1980. Mr Takahide YAMADA from the Japan Coast Guard was the President of IALA in 1980-84. Japan takes its role as one of the leading countries within its region very seriously, and this meeting was the third meeting of a series of meetings between the ASEAN countries, hosted by Japan.
The key to high quality and reliable Vessel Traffic Services is properly trained VTS operators, certified under international standards in accordance with IALA Recommendations, Guidelines and associated Model Courses. While some countries already have established their own accredited training facilities, and deliver approved courses in accordance with IALA Guidelines, other countries do not have the critical mass needed to sustain good quality VTS training. This is why the ASEAN Regional Training Centre for VTS Operators, at Maritime Transport Training Institute (MATRAIN) in Malaysia, is so important. It is unique in the world and IALA fully supports this initiative through its World-Wide Academy. It is a huge undertaking, funded by Japan ASEAN Integrated Fund (JAIF), and the whole VTS community will follow its development closely. The IALA World-Wide Academy will do all possible to make this important initiative a success.
The meeting included a visit to the newly developed and quite innovative VTS Simulator at Japan Radio Company (JRC) factory in Nagano as well as the Tokyo-Wan VTS centre at Werk Yokosuka, which incidentally celebrated its 40-year anniversary the same day.
During the meeting the Dean of the World-Wide Academy demonstrated the use of the IALA Risk Management Toolbox, and created a short video, using IWRAP Mk-II, which illustrates the busy waters of the Tokyo-Wan VTS area.