The Norwegian Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) offers three types of services based on national regulations and international recommendations:
Information Service (INS)
This service shall provide important information at the right time to support the nautical decision-making processes on board. A vessel can request information, and the VTS centre can provide unsolicited information and ask the vessel questions if something is unclear. Information can include:
- Information on the traffic situation, such as position, identity of the vessel, destination.
- Meteorological and hydrographic information.
- Relevant limitations or activities in the fairways.
- Guidelines for mandatory reporting.
- VHF channels that are used in the VTS area.
Navigation Assistance Service (NAS)
Navigation assistance is established either on request from a vessel or when the VTS operator observes irregular navigation and the VTS operator deems it necessary to intervene. The vessel and VTS centre will agree on when the navigation assistance service starts and stops. This service entails assistance that is linked closely to the vessel in question.
Examples of navigation assistance situations:
- Difficult meteorological conditions.
- Faulty or defective equipment on board.
- Vessels that deviate from a sailing plan.
- Assistance en route to an anchorage site or pilot embarkation buoy/area.
- Risk of running aground or collision.
- Vessel that is uncertain of its position, or not able to determine its position.
The VTS Centre can provide:
- Bearing and distance to nearby hazards or landmarks.
- Recommend a course to the next waypoint.
- Position in relation to the fairway axis, navigation functions, and/or waypoints.
- Provide support and information on the current traffic situation to the crew on the bridge.
Traffic Organisation (TOS)
The purpose of this service is to prevent hazardous situations from developing and to ensure safe and efficient navigation through the VTS area. The VTS centre provides information, advice and instructions to vessels. Vessels report before sailing into the VTS area, or when leaving an anchorage site or dock in order to avoid traffic congestion that can create critical situations.
The Maritime Traffic Regulations regulate, for example, meeting and passing bans, and granting a vessel clearance to sail into a VTS area. Clearance can be granted without conditions, but special conditions can also be stipulated through:
- Use of special fairways.
- Sailing in a specific order in relation to other traffic.
- Clearance can be withheld when there is a valid reason for doing so.
Norway contributes to shaping the future of shipping
The globally leading nations on autonomous maritime operations came together today for the very first time. They have now launched a cooperation to exchange knowledge and work towards common guidelines for future development. Norway takes part.
Changes in navigation passing the Maaloy bridge
The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will carry out necessary maintenance on the Måløy bridge (Måløybrua) from 31 July 2020 to September 2021. The sailing draft will periodically be lower than normal and the sailing pattern must therefore be temporarily changed.
New Digital Information Service for Vessel Traffic in the Arctic
The Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) has established a new digital information service to increase safety for vessel traffic in Arctic areas.
New AIS basestations strengthen maritime traffic monitoring on Svalbard
On September 13, 2019, the Norwegian Coastal Administration deployed a new AIS (Automatic Identification System) basestation on the island of Prins Karls Forland, west of Spitsbergen. This basestation is powered by solar and wind energy, and is the first of its kind in an area without infrastructure.
Digital Route Service is available from Sandefjord to Haugesund
From June 3, 2019, routes and route information will be available for vessels arriving ports in Skagerrak and Rogaland. This is an extension of the Digital Route Service that was launched in the Oslofjord in 2018.
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