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Saturday, October 20, 2018

MPA holds joint discussions with INTERTANKO

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) held a discussion with the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) on 19 September 1998 to discuss some areas of mutual interest, such as co-operation in navigational safety. The meeting, which was held at the invitation of the MPA, was attended by Mr Dagfinn Lunde, Managing Director of INTERTANKO, Mr Joseph Kwok, Vice-Chairman of the INTERTANKO Asian Regional Panel, Mr Trygve Meyer, Director of INTERTANKO, Ms Minerva Alfonso, Regional Manager-East Asia, INTERTANKO, Captain Khong Shen Ping, Director (Port), MPA, Mr Lee Seng Kong, Director (Policy), MPA, Captain Mark Heah, Ag 2 DD (Port)/Portmaster, MPA and other MPA representatives.

At the meeting, the discussion focused on how MPA and INTERTANKO could cooperate on the issue of navigational safety in the Singapore Strait. MPA requested INTERTANKO's co-operation in improving safe navigation practices among its members who have ships using the Singapore port or Strait. In addition, MPA requested INTERTANKO to raise the awareness of their members on rules governing navigation in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. The implementation on Straitrep on 1 December 1998 is one area where INTERTANKO members' participation will contribute to navigational safety. MPA also told INTERTNAKO as earlier discussed that 3 new precautionary areas in the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Singapore Strait would be come into force from 1 December 1998.

INTERTANKO was briefed by MPA on a pilot project on transponders using the Automatic Identification System (AIS). The AIS is navigational aid. We expect future discussions with INTERTANKO on this.

INTERTANKO was also told of the developments made by the MPA on the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), which is an aid to safe navigation. MPA also invited INTERTANKO to participate actively in the International ECDIS Conference to be held in Singapore from 26 to 28 October this year.

INTERTANKO was also briefed by MPA on the role of the VTIS. The MPA explained to INTERTANKO that the VTIS provides services to vessels such as traffic information of vessels, navigational warning broadcasts, navigational assistance and assistance in an emergency; and that it is not a shore-based control system. The multi-million dollar VTIS, which is an aid to navigation provides these services free-of-charge to shipmasters.

INTERTANKO was also told that the VTIS is manned by well-trained and competent staff who have undergone a comprehensive training programme in accordance with guidelines spelt out by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). This training programme has enabled MPA's VTIS operators to acquire the competency to perform their duties effectively. MPA is constantly reviewing the operational procedures of the VTIS and upgrading the skills of its operators in order to ensure that the VTIS continues to be effective and efficient.

Mr Dagfinn Lunde, Managing Director of INTERTANKO, said of the meeting, "I am glad to note that INTERTANKO and the MPA share a common concern for navigational safety and the prevention of pollution. The meeting has been useful in understanding better the efforts by the MPA in enhancing safety of navigation and pollution prevention in the Singapore Strait. More importantly, we should learn from the experience of past incidents so that our two organisations can look forward to a common understanding fir the future in complementing the Authority's efforts in the prevention of accidents and in dealing with oil spills."