New Inmarsat service set for GMDSS approval

MARCH 6, 2018 — Fleet Safety from Inmarsat, a new service incorporating FleetBroadband and a Maritime Safety Terminal (MST) is on track for Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) recognition at the May 2018 meeting of IMO's Maritime Safety Committee.

A February meeting of IMO's Subcommittee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR) acknowledged an International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) 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 approve Fleet Safety as a recognized 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 modernization 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 finalize and implement the proposal recognized by NCSR and which will be put to the Maritime Safety Committee in May.

All vessels of 300 grt and above, and all passenger ships sailing on international voyages are required to carry GMDSS compliant equipment. To be compliant, GMDSS must meet performance standards set out by IMO in A.1001(25).

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