The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has reiterated its call for ship owners to upgrade to the latest ECDIS software standards, highlighting the significant benefits that the new IHO S-52 Presentation Library edition 4.0 will offer mariners, including greater consistency in the display of Electronic Nautical Charts (ENCs) and a reduction in the number of audible alarms on the bridge.
According to the UKHO, shipping companies have welcomed the recent announcement of a 12-month extension to the transition period for owners to switch to the new Presentation Library 4.0. However, upgrade requirements will vary from ship to ship, so the UKHO strongly encourages owners to take advantage of the new ECDIS Standards at the earliest opportunity, rather than waiting until the new deadline of 31 August 2017.
Tom Mellor, the UKHO’s Head of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Support and Digital Standards and Chairman of the IHO’s ENC Working Group commented:
“The UKHO is continuing to work with manufacturers to ensure that users can experience the full benefit of the latest software standards. The transition to the new ECDIS Standards is definitely gathering pace and it is encouraging to see such positive progress with ECDIS manufacturers working hard to secure type-approval for their ECDIS software.
“Naturally, ship owners will also have questions about the new ECDIS Standards. One recurring question is whether there are any compatibility issues between newly produced ENCs and the current Presentation Library edition 3.4. Owners need not be concerned about this, as ENCs themselves are unchanged. The upgrade applies to the Presentation Library, which governs how the ENC data is displayed on the ECDIS screen, not the data itself.”
As part of ongoing efforts to support ship owners with the transition, the UKHO is continuing to hold free seminars designed to ensure the navigational benefits of ECDIS are achieved in an efficient and compliant manner. A number of these seminars will be held at the Posidonia Exhibition in Greece next month.
Ship owners that are still adopting and implementing ECDIS will be able to attend a morning seminar entitled “Implementing ECDIS”, whilst the afternoon seminar, “Living with ECDIS”, is for those who are already operating with ECDIS and wish to be informed of new developments, such as the latest Presentation Library. Attendees will be able to ask UKHO and independent experts about ECDIS implementation and management, including the latest changes brought through by the IHO.