Not lost at sea: New system to allow 10,000 ships to be tracked around Singapore
Three years in the making, the new vessel traffic information system has twice the capacity of the existing VTIS.
According to a release, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lui Tuck Yew, officially commissioned the new Port Operations Control Centre – Changi or POCC-Changi. Equipped with a state-of-the-art Vessel Traffic Information System or VTIS, POCC-Changi plays a crucial role in ensuring navigational safety and protection of the marine environment in Singapore’s port waters and the Singapore Strait.
Singapore sits strategically on the crossroads of trade and plays an important role as a major transhipment hub. In 2010, vessel arrival tonnage reached 1.92 billion gross tons, making Singapore one of the busiest ports in the world.
Three years in the making, the new POCC-Changi is Singapore’s third POCC and will eventually replace the existing POCC at Tanjong Pagar Complex or POCC-TPC.
The new VTIS is also able to pull together information from various sources like radars, Automatic Identification System, Harbour Craft Transponder System, Closed Circuit Television System and ship databases to present a comprehensive sea situation picture to MPA’s Vessel Traffic Management operators on high-resolution displays. Enhanced monitoring functions also assist the VTM operators in detecting potential collisions and grounding situations, so as to facilitate timely warnings to ships.
The enhanced capabilities will help in ensuring safety of navigation and environmental protection in the Port of Singapore and the Singapore Strait even with increases in traffic volumes.
With the completion and commissioning of POCC-Changi, the existing POCC at PSA Vista (POCC-Vista) will be undergoing upgrading to incorporate the same new technology used at POCC-Changi. During the upgrading, which is expected to be completed within a year, navigational safety will not be affected as POCC-TPC will continue to function alongside POCC-Changi.
Even though each of the POCCs can independently cover the whole of the Port of Singapore and the Singapore Strait, MPA maintains two fully functioning POCCs at any one time for safety and business continuity purposes. After the completion of upgrading works at POCC-Vista, vessel traffic management operations will be conducted out of POCC-Vista and POCC-Changi, and POCC-TPC will be decommissioned.
Costing a total of S$25.4 million, POCC-Changi and the upgrading of POCC-Vista are part of MPA’s investments in supporting infrastructure to ensure the continued safe and efficient operation of the Port of Singapore.
Speaking at the commissioning of POCC-Changi, Minister Lui said, “Singapore is a premier hub port along important trade routes. We place strong emphasis on the safety of navigation and the security of vessels. This new Port Operations Control Centre in Changi will enable Singapore to handle the significant growth in maritime traffic.”