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Commissioners of Irish Lights are seeking your views on the usefulness and usability of Aids to Navigation. 

Aids to navigation and their reliability are constantly monitored by CIL, Ireland’s safety-critical marine organisation via a sophisticated network of remote coastal communications links. This ensures Ireland’s coastal navigation network of 72 lighthouses, 29 beacons, and 118 buoys meets the international availability standard of 99.8%, giving all mariners a high degree of confidence and security for passage planning. 

The GLAs are undertaking a review of aids to navigation provision around the coasts of Ireland and Great Britain during 2014 and CIL require feedback from all users of marine Aids to Navigation.

Many changes can occur which affect aids to navigation requirements and their development such as trade patterns, vessel types and volume, the seabed and the development of offshore projects. Every 5 years the GLA consider quality user input to be an essential component of this review which will be published in 2015.  

Marine users of aids to navigation are invited to contribute to the review by commenting on the usefulness and usability of existing AtoN provided by the GLAs. Is there any proposed requirement for the provision of additional aids to navigation? If the current mix of aids to navigation provided by CIL is effective including lighthouses, buoys, beacons, Racons, Automatic Identification System (AIS) AtoN and Differential GPS?  What is the benefit to users of the provision of additional data such as meteorological data? Has this data become essential in everyday use? How effective are the systems used to promulgate information relating to aids to navigation?

Emphasising the critical importance of user input Captain Robert McCabe, Director of the Operation and Navigation Services Department in CIL commented “Marine Aids to Navigation must serve all users of the sea, from small leisure and fishing craft to large liners and cargo vessels. Input from experienced users is essential to the process of defining the correct mix of aids to navigation. Local knowledge and experience built through time at sea cannot be replaced by desktop analysis no matter how modern and sophisticated the tools may be”. 

Please feel free to comment on any of the issues outlined before 31 March 2014 by emailing navigation@cil.ie or write to Navigation Services, Commissioners of Irish Lights, Harbour Road, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. 
 
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