News & Events


World Marine Aids to Navigation Day 2019 Preparation

IALA members are encouraged to submit their proposals for the theme 2019 to the secretariat at before November 1st 2018.

The objectives of the World Marine AtoN Day are the following:

  • To promote greater awareness of IALA by bringing to the attention of the wider public the role of IALA and the significance of its technical work in enhancing the safety of navigation world-wide.
  • To improve the society’s perception of AtoN as modern, technologically advanced marine aids which, alongside traditional lighthouses, embrace the latest digital developments and support new developments in all fields, including VTS.

For more information, please download the letter addressed to members here.

Pour plus d’information, merci de télécharger la lettre adressée aux membres ici.

Para más información, descargue la carta aquí.

The IALA Secretariat is looking forward to receiving your input!

IALA meeting with Saudi Ports Authority

In order to enhance the cooperation between the Saudi Ports Authority and IALA, His Excellency the President, Mr. Saad AlKhalb, invited the Secretary-General of IALA, Mr. Francis Zachariae for a meeting on Sunday 2 September 2018. Many essential topics were discussed like the urgent need for resilient position, navigation and timing and the support for IALA change of status into an Intergovernmental Organization (IGO). The Dean of the IALA World-Wide Academy, Mr. Omar Frits Eriksson, gave an update on the Academy work and future common projects were explored.

e-Navigation Underway North America, 6-7 November 2018

e-Navigation Underway (North America), a two-day conference, is scheduled for November 6-7 and will be hosted by California State University Maritime Academy at its campus in Vallejo, California.

Organized under the auspices of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) the theme of the conference is e-Navigation: Opening the Door to the Future – Emerging technologies and their impact in the maritime industry.

Material presented will explore the development of e-navigation and will introduce significant changes affecting the maritime industry. The rate of change is accelerating and the effects on maritime operations and the workforce will be significant. In order to examine future competency requirements, the conference will focus on a spectrum of likely developments, from those on the calendar for 2019 to those perhaps 20+ years in the future.

The conference will provide a snapshot of the likely major e-navigation developments within a twenty-year planning horizon, and do so in sufficient detail to stimulate thought and planning about the nature of the future maritime workforce and the educational and training base needed to support it.

Visit for more information. Register today!

A one-day IALA Seminar on VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) was held at the YourWorld Conference Centre in Yiwu city on Monday 16 July 2018.  The Seminar was followed by a four-day meeting of the IALA Working Group on Communications, part of the ENAV Committee.

IALA Seminar on VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) & ENAV Intersessional meeting

A one-day IALA Seminar on VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) was held at the YourWorld Conference Centre in Yiwu city on Monday 16 July.  The Seminar was followed by a four-day meeting of the IALA Working Group on Communications, part of the ENAV Committee. The two events were hosted by China MSA and IALA, and sponsored by Zhe Jiang SIST Co., Ltd.

The Seminar was opened by Mr WANG Zelong, Deputy Director-General of MSA, Mr LI Dongfang, Vice-Mayor of Yiwu, and Mr Michael CARD, Deputy Secretary-General of IALA. The keynote speech was given by Mr YUAN Minhui, from the Beijing Institute of Space Science and Information Technology.

The Seminar highlighted developments in VDES, including the possible use of VDES to support position, navigation and timing (PNT) through VDES R-Mode.  The seminar was a major success with more than 100 participants from China and abroad participating.

Following the Seminar, the Working Group on Communications met from the 17th to the 20th. An objective of the working group meeting included reviewing and improving the IALA Guideline 1139 to capture the technical description of VDES, with the expectation of updating a new draft version of this Guideline at the ENAV 22 Committee meeting in October.

VDES is a VHF digital communications system specifically designed for the Imaritime environment.  VDES is expected to carry maritime safety information and other ship data information, with both terrestrial and space components. As a system, VDES includes and protects the existing AIS channels, which will remain unchanged, while adding extra channels for Application Specific Messages and for digital data transmission. A major driver for VDES is to reserve the AIS channels for safety of navigation, moving to other channels the increasing numbers of non-safety related messages now being imposed on the AIS frequencies.

Vice-Admiral Antonio Fernando Garcez Faria visits IALA

On Friday 6th July 2018, IALA had the pleasure to receive the Vice-Admiral Antonio Fernando Garcez Faria from the Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation, National Member of IALA in Brazil for a courtesy visit. Mr Garcez and the IALA secretariat discussed their long standing collaboration and also the next IALA Conference scheduled for 2022.

In the picture from left to right: Michael Card, Deputy Secretary-General of IALA, Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General of IALA, Vice-Admiral Antonio Fernando Garcez Faria, Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation, Brazil, Omar Frits Eriksson, Dean of IALA WWA.

Two major outputs of 19th IALA Conference set clear direction

IALA Secretary-General Francis Zachariae formally concluded the 19th IALA Conference, held on the theme of “A New Era for Marine Aids to Navigation in a Connected World” in Incheon, Republic of Korea from 28 May to 2 June 2018, with a summary of the main outcomes relating to the latest developments in aids to navigation and vessel traffic services technology.

Click here for the Conference Summary, the major themes of which will inform IALA’s technical work in the coming years.

In addition, an important legacy of the Conference is the Incheon Declaration, an initiative of the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and supported by the IALA motto “Safe Voyages, Sustainable Planet”. The first-ever World Lighthouse Heritage Exhibition was successfully staged alongside the Conference and the Industrial Members Exhibition.

Click here for the Incheon Declaration on Lighthouses as Cultural Heritage, which sets out a vision for the conservation and sustainable management of historical lighthouses as cultural heritage.

IALA Industrial Members Committee 2018-2022

At the General Assembly of the Industrial Members held on 31st May 2018 during the 19th IALA Conference in Incheon, Republic of Korea, the new Industrial Members Committee was elected for the next 4 years.

The Committee consists of – from left to right:

Europe/Africa Representative, Mr Lars Mansner, Sabik, Member at Large, Mr John Sugarman, Australian Maritime Systems, Country of the next Conference: Mr Marcel Tetu, Arbo Plasticos, Americas Representative, Mr Clive W Quickenden, Tideland Signal Corporation (represented by Mr Alfredo Dominguez), Member at Large, Mr Chris Procter, Sealite Pty Ltd, and Asian/Oceania Representative, Mr Noboru Maruoka, Zeni Lite Buoy Co., Ltd.

Congratulations IMC!

World Lighthouse Heritage Exhibition

One could almost hear visitors holding their breath as soon as they entered the first-ever World Lighthouse Heritage Exhibition. Staged by the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) at the Songdo ConvensiA Centre in Incheon, this exhibition marks a brave initiative that has come to full fruition against a tight deadline.

Officially opening the exhibition, which takes place alongside the 19th IALA Conference held from 28th May to 2nd June in Incheon, MOF Director-General, Mr Woonyul OH, said that its aim was to conserve lighthouses for the future. It was important to ensure their continuous legacy as human engineering triumphs for generations to enjoy and learn from.

IALA Secretary-General Francis Zachariae said the exhibition made maritime history as a world first. He praised its unprecedented concentration of fascinating heritage artefacts from around the world.

Perhaps Mr Zachariae sowed the seed for a follow-up exhibition in future. He said that the formal Incheon Declaration on lighthouse heritage, which is planned for the concluding day of the 19th IALA Conference, will breathe new life in IALA’s Heritage Forum. The Forum comes under the remit of the IALA ENG Committee and is chaired by Mr Neil Jones of Trinity House (UK).


IALA Council 2018-2022

At the General Assembly of the 19th IALA Conference held on Tuesday 29 May 2018 in Incheon, Republic of Korea, the Council for the period 2018-2022 was elected and is now composed of: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, The Kingdom of Morocco, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, Turkey, The United Kingdom and The United States of America.

Congratulations councillors!

e-Navigation Underway Conference Asia-Pacific 2018

Register Now for the next e-Navigation Underway Conference Asia-Pacific scheduled from 3 to 5 June 2018 at the Millennium Hilton Hotel, Seoul, Republic of Korea

You can find more information about the event at:

Please note that delegates registered to the 19th IALA Conference will benefit from a 50% discount on the registration fee to the e-Navigation Underway Conference Asia-Pacific 2018.

European project concludes three years of maritime digitalisation

European Project concludes three years of maritime digitalisation
As the EU-funded digitalisation project EfficienSea2 draws to a close, the partners share research, digital solutions and more online. This includes work on the Maritime Connectivity Platform, VDES, Port Reporting and a number of digital end-user services.

Christopher Saarnak, Project Leader of EfficienSea2 and Senior Adviser at the Danish Maritime Authority, explains:

“We are proud of our shared achievements throughout the last 36 months and confident about our solutions having a real impact. All partners involved in EfficienSea2 have made specific plans for how they are going to exploit the different solutions, but making our innovative work available for different maritime stakeholders has always been a key feature of the project.”

At you can read more about the project wrapping up.

You can also go straight to the published deliverables. More deliverables will follow as they are accepted by the EU.

Finally, you can take a look at some of different solutions presented at our final conference. 

Jimei University visits IALA Headquarters

Mr Zheping Shao, Dean of Navigation Institute , Mr Fangzhao Gu, Chancellor of Jimei University and Ms Hui Chen, Deputy Director of International Co-operation & Exchange Department came to IALA Headquarters, France on 19 March 2018 for a meeting and signed a MOU with IALA, represented by Mr Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General, Mr Omar Frits Eriksson, Dean of the World-Wide Academy and Mrs Gerardine Delanoye, Programme Manager of the World-Wide Academy.

Mr Francis Zachariae and Mr Omar Frits Eriksson have the honour of being visiting professors at Jimei University, China.