The installation of the state-of-the-art Automatic Identification System (AIS) at the Port of Suva has changed the way the Harbour Master coordinates and manages incoming and departing vessels.
“We can see any ship that is approaching Suva Harbour, and can even zoom in for a closer look,” said FPCL Harbour Master, Captain Joji Takape.
AIS is an automatic tracking system that identifies and locates vessels through the exchange of information between ships, AIS base stations, such as the Harbour Master’s control tower, and satellites.
The information includes the vessel’s unique identification code, its position, course and speed. Once a vessel has berthed, the captain updates the ship’s system to show this. All information is displayed in real time on a screen in the control tower. Additional data such as the size and type of vessel can be accessed by clicking on the vessel’s identification code.
“With the system operating 24/7, there is no longer any possibility of vessels illegally entering the port,” said Captain Takape.