Subic Freeport launches state-of-the-art vessel traffic management system

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Subic Freeport launches state-of-the-art vessel traffic management system
  • Mhike R. C.
  • 5 months ago

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has recently unveiled a cutting-edge Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) at the Port of Subic, aiming to enhance port management services and elevate safety and security standards to compete globally.

The VTMS upgrade, long overdue since its installation in 2008, received approval for funding of P270 million under the 2021 General Appropriations Act. The contract, awarded to Northwind Communications and Electronic Incorporated-Xanatos Marine Ltd., was valued at P233 million, with a notice to proceed issued in June 2022. SBMA Chairman and Administrator Eduardo Jose Aliño highlighted the critical need for the VTMS upgrade, citing deficiencies and dead spots in radar coverage that compromise maritime safety. The new system promises enhanced marine radar coverage, vessel tracking, and detection, particularly in previously unmonitored areas like the north of Subic Bay and Triboa Bay.

The project also includes replacing outdated hardware and software, with an emphasis on ease of installation, operation, and power efficiency. The VTMS project encompasses a comprehensive overhaul, including the replacement of VHF and Automatic Identification System (AIS), operator consoles, monitoring displays, and printers. Additionally, CCTVs will be installed to expand visual coverage and aid in tracking smaller vessels not detectable by radar. This visual confirmation capability will enhance traffic management, particularly for vessels without AIS. Incorporating a Port Management System into the new VTMS will streamline port operations by integrating financial processes, such as invoicing, and providing essential information to service providers, terminals, and government agencies.

Senior Deputy Administrator for Port Operations Ronnie Yambao emphasized that the integrated system will significantly improve overall port efficiency and vessel operations. Yambao also noted the importance of keeping pace with technological advancements in VTMS software and hardware, ensuring that the new system aligns with current industry standards. The SBMA’s investment in this state-of-the-art VTMS underscores its commitment to transforming the Port of Subic into a world-class facility, capable of meeting the evolving demands of maritime traffic management.

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