Vessels Transiting Panama Canal Show AIS Deficiencies

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has been monitoring AIS messages and have encountered that many vessels were transmitting incomplete or incorrect data.

The most common deficiencies found are as follows:

Vessels static data is loaded incorrectly or not present at all. For example: incomplete or incorrect MMSI, vessel’s name, vessel’s dimensions and AIS GPS antenna position.

ship virtual AIS display
Representation Image

Some vessels are not transmitting heading information or the information is incorrect.

The pilot plug is not located near Conning Position 1 or it is wired incorrectly. The correct wiring, as seen from the AIS equipment, as established by IMO’s “Guideline for installation of Shipborne Automatic Identification System”, is as follows:
– TX A is connected to Pin 1
– TX B is connected to Pin 4
– RX A is connected to Pin 5
– RX B is connected to Pin 6
– Shield is connected to Pin 9

There is no power receptacle near the AIS pilot plug or the power receptacle has a voltage not compatible with the pilot’s laptop. The voltage must be 120 VAC 50/60Hz.

It is essential that all masters verify that their vessels’ AIS System is transmitting complete and accurate data so that full advantage is taken of the Automatic Identification System (AIS.

Non-compliant vessels require that a supplemental device be brought on board, with an associated fee.


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