About IALA

VTS (Vessel Traffic Services)

Chair: Monica Sundklev (Swedish Transport Agency)

Vice Chair: Dirk Eckhoff (Federal Waterways & Shipping Administration)

The VTS Committee produces a range of recommendations, guidelines and model courses related to the IALA Standards.


The work of the VTS Committee is structured into three working groups (WG) to deliver the 2023 – 2027 work plan. They are:

Working Group (WG)Working Group Chair / Vice-Chair
WG1 – OperationsTrond Ski (Chair), Els Bogaert (Vice-chair)
WG2 – TechnologyRichard Aase (Chair), Robert Townsend (Vice-chair)
WG3 – VTS TrainingJillian Carson-Jackson (Chair), Stefaan Priem (Vice-chair)

VTS Committee meetings are normally held at IALA HQ in Paris and physical attendance is recommended, but online participation is also possible. The committee meets normally twice per year.

The duration of a committee meeting is normally five days (Monday to Friday). Opening and closing plenary may be held at other times.

Committee meetings will be conducted in IALA’s working language – English including all input and output documents.

IALA Secretariat will inform all members of the dates of each committee meeting by email. Participants are requested to register at IALA web site.

Input documents for a committee meeting should be sent to the Secretariat no later than one month before the meeting and will be published on the member section of the IALA web site, no later than two weeks before the meeting. Documents should conform to the standard IALA template for input documents.

Documents for consideration at a meeting will be numbered by the Secretariat in a way that indicates the meeting number, the agenda item to which they refer and a numbering sequence.

Working papers (WP) are documents to be carried over to a subsequent meeting.

Output documents are documents completed and agreed by the Committee. They include draft standards recommendations, guidelines and other documents for submission to Council for approval before they can be published or forwarded to external organisations.


The VTS Committee work is mainly organized according to five IALA Standards, as follows:



  • VTS implementation
  • VTS operations
  • VTS communications
  • VTS auditing and assessing
  • VTS data and information management
  • VTS technologies
  • VTS additional services

Standard 1050 Training and Certification


  • Training and assessment
  • Accreditation, competency, certification and revalidation

Standard 1060 Digital Communication Technologies


  • Harmonised maritime connectivity

Standard 1070 Information Services


  • Data models and data encoding



  • Obligations and regulatory compliance
  • Risk Management
  • Quality Management

For a detailed description of the present tasks of the VTS Committee, see Work Programme for committees 2023-2027.


The purpose of a committee is to study matters relevant to the aim of IALA with the objective of preparing standards, recommendations, guidelines, manuals and any other relevant documents.

Committees will work under the rules stated in the General Regulations.

All IALA members are eligible to participate in the committees.

The work of every committee should be planned and structured to meet the goals and strategies of the Strategic Vision of IALA and may also take account of any shorter-term priorities.

Each draft document to be created by a committee must be essential to meeting the goals and priorities of the Strategic Vision.

Draft committee documents become IALA official documentation after approval by the Council, or the General Assembly in the case of standards, and are then made available by the IALA Secretariat on the website.

A committee should carry out its work in accordance with the following Terms of Reference:

  1. The committee should work to the Work Programme which has been approved by the Council showing the deliverables as draft documents.
  2. The committee should prepare draft standards, recommendations, guidelines, manuals and any other appropriate papers.
  3. These documents should be directed to meeting the goals of the Strategic Vision, with effort concentrated on documents required by the content of the priorities for the current work period in the Strategic Vision.
  4. The committee’s progress with its work and achievement of its deliverables should be reported to the Council and the Policy Advisory Panel at regular intervals.

The Work Programme is a single document approved by the Council and common to all committees. Each committee should work to the work programme in a timely and effective manner.

Each committee should develop a task plan to fulfil the tasks assigned to it by the work programme. The following factors should be taken into account when the task plan is developed:

  1. the number of meetings available to the committee during the four-year work period, which is the time between conferences; and
  2. the order in which the work should be undertaken.

Committee members should ensure that they:

  • act honestly and in good faith, with a view to upholding the best interests and purpose of IALA;
  • advise the committee of a perceived, potential, or actual conflict of interest and withdraw from discussion of that particular item, if appropriate;
  • do not conduct any commercial activity within IALA HQ; and
  • keep IALA standards, recommendations, guidelines, manuals and other appropriate papers free from unresolved or unreasonable intellectual property rights issues and claims.