IMO has given shipowners more time to liaise with ecdis manufacturers over the implementation of the new standards introduced by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). Previously, ecdis manufacturers and ship operators had to ensure their systems were compliant with the new standards by the beginning of September.
The IMO sub-committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) has extended the transition period for software updates to existing ecdis for one year to 31 Aug 2017. The IHO requested the extension to allow more time for ecdis manufacturers to develop software updates and for owners to install them.
These updates will change the software on existing ecdis systems so that they conform with IHO’s new S-52 standard for the presentation library, which is version 4.0.
The latest presentation library addresses the number of audible alarms that emanate from ecdis.
The high number of alarms has led to some bridge teams switching off all ecdis alarms, against shipowner rules. The IHO has tackled the issue of alarm fatigue on the bridge by providing clear guidance to ecdis manufacturers on electronic chart objects that will raise an alarm.
Another change is the introduction of information, such as fairways and anchorage area names, on screens.
Also information on landmarks, lights and buoys are viewable via a hover-over function. Both initiatives reduce the time-consuming need to find information buried in a pick report. IMO’s extension means the current IHO presentation library edition 3.4 in use on serving ecdis will remain valid until 31st Aug 2017.