Session 11 Precision Navigation: Increasing the Safety and Efficiency of U.S. Seaports By Providing Mariners with Integrated and Accessible Data and Information, Part I

Thursday, 16 January 2020: 8:30 AM-9:30 AM
158 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Host: 18th Symposium on the Coastal Environment
Christine Burns, NOAA, Office of Coast Survey, Silver Spring, MD and Andre Van der Westhuysen, IMSG at NOAA/NWS/NCEP/EMC, College Park, MD

Ports and the associated trade flows are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. By providing access to international markets, U.S. seaports support economic activities that in 2016 had a total economic impact to the national economy that exceeded $3.6 trillion and supported more than 20 million jobs. The volume of traffic and the value of exports and imports at U.S. seaports is expected to double by 2021, and double again shortly after.

According to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), “To be able to receive post-Panamax size ships, a port must have a channel depth of 50 feet. By 2030, post-Panamax vessels are projected to make up 62 percent of total container ship capacity. Of the 175 top U.S. seaports only 15 ports have that ability (or currently upgrading to be there)...”

Today's ships are moving through U.S. seaports with little room under their keels. As vessel drafts increase, the navigation margins become smaller and the need for more accurate and timely environmental information increases. Unfortunately, the tools currently available to mariners for making safe operational decisions have not changed significantly over the last twenty years forcing increased vessel load and wait times in ports. Delays and lightering due to the uncertainties posed by environmental factors can equate to millions of dollars a year in lost revenue for shipping companies and ports.

The goal of NOAA’s precision navigation program is to provide high-resolution bathymetry and nautical charts along with real-time observations and forecasts of winds, waves, water levels, and currents for display on navigational display systems onboard ships and also for use by real-time under-keel estimation software. As a result, mariners will be better equipped to make critical navigation decisions. Since precision navigation involves many types and sources of data, it is a coordinated effort across several NOAA offices.

9:00 AM
Precision Navigation: A Socio-Economic Study Quantifying the Benefits of Implementation
Charles Goodhue, Eastern Research Group, Inc. (ERG), Lexington, MA; and Z. Finn

9:15 AM
Precision Navigation and the Dynamic Under Keel Clearance Project in the Port of Long Beach
James Kipling (Kip) LOUTTIT, Marine Exchange of Southern California, SAN Pedro, CA

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