ECDIS Part 2: A Key to safe operation


The mandatory requirement and introduction of electronic chart display and information systems is seen as a major step forward in safe ship operation and protection of the environment

This is the second in a series of three short articles which considers the operational aspects of ECDIS and the intrinsic function that electronic chart and navigation systems have to play in the commercially operated ship of the future.

The mandatory requirement and introduction of ECDIS is seen by the regulatory bodies guiding the shipping industry as a major step forward in safe ship operation and protection of the environment. The transition to electronic navigation and the operation of a paperless bridge is however initially viewed differently by the shipping community with increased operational costs of new equipment and additional training requirements.

It is also becoming increasingly evident that far from reducing risk, ineffective operation of complex ECDIS systems resulting from poor management practices or training can actually increase the risk of incidents such as collision and grounding with the interface between computers extenuating the so called ‘human element’ reported as causative in almost every marine casualty.

Automation of traditional manual navigational tasks has been observed as delaying the opportunity for error detection and recovery allowing a navigational single point failure to develop undetected into a single point catastrophic failure ultimately resulting in an incident.

With the key to reducing management costs and navigational risk intrinsically linked with effective ECDIS practices and procedures we now consider ECDIS and its fundamental operational requirements.

The full document is available for download below.


Staff Author