Landmark International Maritime Organization (IMO) recommendation opens way for FleetBroadband to receive Global Maritime Distress Safety System recognition
06 March 2018: Fleet Safety from Inmarsat, a new service incorporating FleetBroadband and a Maritime Safety Terminal (MST) has been recommended for Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) recognition, after its performance was subjected to intensive review by a group of International Maritime Organization-appointed experts.
The milestone recognition was confirmed at a Sub-Committee meeting on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) on 23rd February, where delegates acknowledged an International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) experts technical review finding that Fleet Safety surpasses the requirements of resolution A.1001(25) initially for the MEAS region. NCSR will now recommend that the May 2018 meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee approves Fleet Safety as a recognised service to support the public service on which seafarers rely.
“We are delighted that Inmarsat’s proposal regarding the future development of its GMDSS solution has received a positive response from NCSR,” said Ronald Spithout, President, Inmarsat Maritime. “This is an important step-forward for our maritime safety strategy encompassing both our current constellation of I-4 satellites and our I-6 constellation and has been designed for both existing FleetBroadband services and the next-generation. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Inmarsat’s Maritime safety & security and engineering teams, and to the on-going support of IMSO.”
Operating on L-band via the Inmarsat fleet of four I-4 satellites, Inmarsat FleetBroadband terminals are equipped with the same GMDSS functionality as Inmarsat C. Today, around 160,000 Inmarsat C terminals are installed on ships operating worldwide.
“For almost 40 years, Inmarsat has been focused on the safety of mariners throughout the world and, following the recommendation to include Fleet Safety in GMDSS, we can proudly restate our commitment to both maintaining and improving the safety services we offer to the maritime industry,” Spithout added.
IMO is reviewing GMDSS under a wide-ranging modernisation Plan, looking to take advantage of changing satellite infrastructure and advances in maritime software and hardware to enhance the system.
Spithout said that Inmarsat would liaise closely with IMSO and its network of technology and channel partners over the coming months to finalise and implement the proposal recognised by NCSR and which will be put in front of the Maritime Safety Committee in May.
All vessels of 300 grt and above, and all passenger ships sailing on international voyages are required to be fitted-out with GMDSS compliant equipment. To be compliant, GMDSS must meet performance standards set out by IMO in A.1001(25).