Australian Maritime Safety Authority

International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) Recommendations and Guidelines

Safe and efficient navigation

The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities aims to assist with safe and efficient navigation.

About IALA

The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) is a non-governmental organization (NGO).

The term Marine Aids to Navigation in the present Constitution means a device, system or service, external to vessels, designed and operated to enhance safe and efficient marine navigation.

Established in 1957, IALA enables marine aids to navigation authorities, manufacturers, consultants, and scientific and training institutes from all parts of the world, and helps them exchange and compare their experiences, achievements, and technical and operational policies via participation in IALA Technical Committees.

There are four Technical Committees:

  • Vessel Traffic Service (VTS)
  • e-Navigation
  • Aids to Navigation Management (ANM)
  • Engineering, Environmental and Preservation (EEP).

The VTS Committee focuses on all aspects of VTS, including the expanding role of vessel monitoring for maritime safety, environmental protection and security.

The committee aims to develop and review VTS related IALA documentation on issues such as:

  • training personnel
  • operational procedures
  • equipment requirements
  • the role of VTS in security and global traffic monitoring systems.

The committee also reviews and updates the IALA VTS Manual, a comprehensive reference document.

A new edition of the VTS Manual is published every four years.

IALA Publications

IALA Recommendations

These documents represent the highest level of IALA documentation (equivalent to a ‘standard’ in an intergovernmental organization).

Recommendations provide direction to IALA members on procedures and processes that facilitate IALA objectives.

IALA recommendations contain information on how members should plan, operate and manage Aids to Navigation.

Recommendations may reference relevant International Standards and IALA Guidelines.

IALA Guidelines

These documents provide detailed information on an aspect of:

  • a specific subject
  • indicating options
  • best practices
  • suggestions for implementation.

IALA Guidelines relate to:

  • planning
  • operating
  • managing Aids to Navigation

IALA Manuals

These documents provide an overall view of a large subject area.

Aimed at a widely varied readership, references are made to IALA Guidelines and IALA Recommendations as well as related international documents.

Further information

Information on IALA and links to their publications can be found on IALA’s website.

Read more about the international framework for navigational safety measures.

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