The Saudi Ports Authority visits IALA Headquarters

​​The Saudi Ports Authority visits IALA Headquarters
 A delegation from the Saudi Ports Authority, headed by Director General, Administration, Mr. Musaed Bin Abdulrahman Al Drees, have visited the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities  (IALA) Headquarters, located in the town of Saint Germain En Laye, France.
During the visit, a meeting with the IALA Secretary General Mr. Francis Zachariae, was held, to discuss the mutual interests and cooperation in the various fields of Aids to Navigation, including the training and subsequent qualifying of the Vessel Traffic Management Information System (VTMIS) operators, Automatic Identification System (AIS), LORAN system and the potential of upgrading it to eLoran.
Mr. Zachariae was pleased with this visit, which comes shortly after Saudi Arabia’s membership to IALA as a National Member, represented in SEAPA, was renewed after several years of absence.
During their visit, Director General, Marin Affairs Department Eng. Faisal Jarboa, and Deputy Director General, King Fahad Industrial Port at Yanbu, Captain. Maher Al Hamdi, members of the SEAPA delegation, presented a visual presentation about the role that the Kingdom plays in the provision of the necessary Aids to Navigation.
To provide safety of navigation for vessels entering territorial waters, Saudi Arabia has installed about 1201 navigation aids in its water, along 2640 km of coastline in the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea .
Discussions were also held regarding the present situation of the Saudi Positioning System (SPS) which is a combination of LORAN-C and GPS, utilizing a data channel on LORAN-C to provide extensive Differential GPS (DGPS) over the Kingdom and adjacent waters. The proposed update of LORAN-C to eLORAN was also discussed, which would provide a suitable back-up to GPS in case of failure or denial of GPS coverage.
After the meeting and discussions an exchange of gifts was made, marking the special nature of the occasion.
 Following the meeting and presentations, the Saudi Ports Authority attended the 7th Session of the Aids to Navigation Requirements and Management (ARM) committee meeting.
The International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA)
ALA is a non profit, international technical association. Established in 1957, it gathers together marine aids to navigation authorities, manufacturers, consultants, and, scientific and training institutes from all parts of the world and offers them the opportunity to exchange and compare their experiences and achievements.
IALA encourages its members to work together in a common effort to harmonise aids to navigation worldwide and to ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious and cost effective while protecting the environment.
Taking into account the needs of mariners, developments in technology and the requirements and constraints of aids to navigation authorities, a number of technical committees have been established bringing together experts from around the world.
The work of the committees is aimed at developing common best practice standards through publication of IALA Recommendations and Guidelines.
This work ensures that mariners have aids to navigation which will meet their needs both now and in the future. Thus IALA contributes to a reduction of marine accidents, increased safety of life and property at sea, as well as the protection of the marine environment.
IALA also encourages cooperation between nations to assist developing nations in establishing aids to navigation networks in accordance with the degree of risk for the waterway concern