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July 21, 2005

AIS site for Unimak Pass

The U.S. Coast Guard in partnership with the Marine Exchange of Alaska has established an Automated Identification System (AIS) site in the Unimak pass.

The Unimak Pass AIS site is the ninth of 11 planned sites established in Alaska.

The sites have been established as part of a partnership project between the Coast Guard and the Marine Exchange of Alaska that began in late 2003.

AIS allows the Coast Guard command center in Juneau, Alaska, to monitor, in real time, the movements and positions of high capacity passenger vessels, Alaska Marine Highway System ferries and most larger commercial vessels within major ports. The availability of real time position information allows the Coast Guard to better coordinate search and rescue efforts and patrols for homeland security.

The Marine Exchange collects and formats AIS information and produces a visual representation available for use by ports and vessel managers. The Coast Guard has contracted with Marine Exchange for access to this information enhancing our maritime domain awareness.

The International Maritime Organization has established mandatory carriage requirements for approved AIS equipment under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention. AIS is also mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.

Unimak Pass is part of the great circle route that links the Pacific Northwest and the Far East.

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