On World Marine Aids to Navigation Day (Thursday 1st July), the Board of the International Foundation for Aids to Navigation (IFAN) is reminding the world’s ship owners that Aids to Navigation (AtoN) are imperative to keeping the Middle East Gulf region safe for vessels and crew but that they must be paid for.
The Middle East Navigation Aids Service (MENAS), a subsidiary of IFAN, has been providing AtoN services since 1911 as no states can agree responsibility for the AtoN in the joint waters of the Gulf. This service is funded exclusively via nav dues payments and the sustainability of the existing service, on which the shipping industry depends, is totally dependent on receipt of these nav dues.
Peter Stanley, CEO of IFAN, said: “World Marine Aids to Navigation Day is the perfect day to highlight the pivotal role played in aids to navigation internationally. MENAS is committed to providing world-class navigational aids, but ship owners need to acknowledge the services they receive and pay the necessary nav dues. All ships in the area share the benefit and safety of well-maintained AtoN.
MENAS is currently the Gulf region’s leading innovator in the development, fabrication, supply and maintenance of AtoN. Operating from its main base in Bahrain and a support base in Abu Dhabi, MENAS owns and maintains an extensive network of buoys, lighthouses and DGPS transmitters. It also provides essential information and advice such as the issuance of Notices to Mariners, advising on hazards to shipping and co-ordinating additions to navigation charts for the Gulf. Over 2,000 vessels rely upon MENAS equipment and services each month.