About IALA


IALA Committees – Experts at work

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.

Committee Structure for 2023-2027

The working arrangements of the committees experienced slight modifications during the pandemic
period, primarily with the adoption of hybrid meeting formats into the arrangement. These new
methods of operation have been well incorporated across all committees. For the upcoming work
period 2023-2027, the committees intend to maintain continuity with the established practices from
the previous work period 2018-2023, thereby avoiding any rapid adjustments.

The Committees proposed for the work period of 2023-2027 are:

  • Aids to Navigation Requirements and Management, ARM
  • Engineering and Sustainability, ENG
  • Digital Technologies, DTEC
  • Vessel Traffic Services, VTS

When compared with the distribution of work in the 2018-2023 Committee structure, the following change will be seen:

The ENAV committee proposed a title change from e-Navigation Information Services and Communications (ENAV) to Digital Technologies (DTEC). This shift aims to encompass a wider scope of emerging technologies, including autonomous systems, cybersecurity, among others. The new designation aligns well with the rebranding of the e-Navigation Underway conference series to Digital@Sea conferences.

Working arrangements

The four committees are scheduled to convene in-person twice a year, with the option for virtual
opening and/or closing plenaries, at the IALA HQ in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, unless a different location
is agreed upon by the committee. The committees will advance the work program approved by the
Underneath the committees are subsidiary working groups, which, in turn, are supported by task
groups. The primary workspace for committee participants will be the committee dashboard

(*)The 78th session of the IALA Council approved the proposal to rename the ENAV committee as the DTEC committee

Committee Structure for 2018-2022

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:

  • Aids to Navigation Requirements and Management, ARM
  • Engineering and Sustainability, ENG
  • e-Navigation Information Services and Communications, ENAV
  • Vessel Traffic Services, VTS

When compared with the distribution of work in the 2014-2018 Committee structure, the following changes will be seen:

  • Radionavigation Services work moves to ENG. This work includes satellite positioning and timing, terrestrial positioning and timing, racon & radar positioning and augmentation services. This is a discrete set of work items and will sit very comfortably in ENG. It will also help to balance participation numbers in the four Committees, with a practical benefit for meetings and the use of Secretariat facilities;
  • The previous work in ENAV on “Terminology, symbology and portrayal” (under Information Services in the Standards Map) moves to ARM, placing it with other items concerned with the interface to the mariner;
  • ENAV is renamed “e-Navigation Information Services and Communications” (ENAV) to reflect the focus of its work now and in future;
  • Information services will be treated in both ARM and ENAV Committees
    • The management of Maritime Service Portfolios and S-200 in ARM; and
    • The data modelling in ENAV
  • Capacity building is added to ARM.