STM Shore Centre ready for Gibraltar Strait
Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Tarifa is one of the first shore centres updated to be fully compatible with Sea Traffic Management (STM). It is ready to send and receive voyage plans and add value to STM compatible ships.
Gibraltar strait is one of the busiest passages in the world with 70 000 vessels every year, about twice as many as in the very busy Öresund strait between Denmark and Sweden. The Spanish Maritime Safety Agency, SASEMAR, is running the VTS centre in Tarife, which is responsible for westbound traffic in the northern part of the strait. Morocco is responsible for eastbound traffic. The Tarifa rescue centre is responsible for Search and Rescue (SAR) in the whole area, and is co-located with the VTS. During this summer, the number of SAR operations have increased due to the escalation of refugees from North Africa. Tarifa handles around 500 SAR alarms per year.
At the end of June, Kongsberg Norcontrol installed a new VTS operation console with STM functionality. Remotes updates from Norway ensure that the system always has the latest release. The STM part of the centre will operate during office hours until 2018. It will support STM ships in the Mediterranean. The Tarifa Shore Centre will receive routes from all STM equipped vessels passing Mediterranean waters, and can provide the following services:
• Suggest changes to a voyage plan
• Create a new voyage plan; Name, schedule, waypoints, estimated time of arrival
• Cross-check and approve voyage plans