All about Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS)

A vessel traffic management system (VTMS) is a nautical vessel movement observing system established by harbor or port authorities. According to TRANSAS (2014) the VTMS system utilizes information collected by advanced sensors, for example, radar, AIS, closed-circuit television (CCTV), Meteo-Hydro and other electronic object detection systems. The primary purpose of VTMS is to improve the safety and efficiency of navigation, improve features of port services, protection of life at sea and the safeguard marine environment.

History of VTMS

In 1946 a demonstration was done in order to identify the helpfulness of coast based radar system in Liverpool. The initial effort in developing harbour controlled radar was done by establishing a system at the end of Victoria Pier, Douglas, Isle of Man in 1948. (Hughes, 2009)

With the rapid growth of marine industry marine safety and efficient navigation has been addressed as one of the issues that have major consideration. Different methods for improving the marine safety have been developed the past few decades. Some of them can be stated as radio-communications, navigation rules, electronic chart systems and identification systems. (Goralski, Ray, & Gold, 2011).

Goralski et al. (2011) further describes that most recent technological developments in improving vessel traffic management includes radar, electronic charting like Electronic Chart Display Information Systems, (ECDIS), vessel traffic control and management (VTMS) and automatic identification system (AIS) and communication. Several sources of data are combined from sensors such as GPS, radar and AIS in order to improve the vessel traffic monitoring. The final objective of this is offer more precise understanding of the navigational situations.

Many developed countries utilize the services of highly sophisticated VTMS. The Port of London is one of the UK’s busiest ports utilize an exceptionally advanced VTMS. In this VTMS the data from radars are associated with a mass of other data inside a very advanced computer system. This gives an ongoing picture and a thorough record of all developments at Port of London. (Goldman, 2011)