IMO’s Polar Code aims to ensure that ships operating in the Arctic and Antarctic areas consider extremes of temperature and make sure critical equipment remains operational. Draft guidance for navigation and communication equipment intended for use on ships operating in polar waters is expected to be finalized by the current session of the Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue.
The guidance will provide recommendations on temperature and mechanical shock testing, and on how to deal with ice accretion and battery performance in cold temperatures.
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The Sub-Committee will also take into consideration the report of the 14th meeting of the Joint IMO/ITU Experts Group on maritime radiocommunication matters.
The meeting will finalize the draft IMO position on maritime radiocommunication matters for submission to the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019, which will take place in November. The availability of interference-free parts of radio spectrum, dedicated for maritime radiocommunication and radionavigation purposes, is vital to ensure the safety and security of shipping.
The Sub-Committee will continue working on several key agenda items, such as the current work to modernize the Global Maritime Distress and Safety system (GMDSS). The modernization plan wants to update the provisions, including allowing for the incorporation of new satellite communication services.
On e-navigation issues, the meeting will give emphasis on harmonization and standardization for the effective implementation of the e-navigation strategy. The Sub-Committee will develop the description of various maritime services, in order to improve harmonization. It will also set out draft guidelines on standardized modes of operation, or S-mode, to enhance standardization of the user interface and information used by seafarers.
Regarding search and rescue matters, the Sub-Committee will analyze recommendations from the latest regular International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)/IMO Joint Working Group. The meeting will probably validate a revised model course on SAR Mission Coordinator.
Finally, amongst other agenda items, the Sub-Committee will review proposed new and amended ships’ routeing measures and updates to Maritime Safety Information (MSI) related provisions. It will also discuss matters regarding the functioning and operation of the Long-Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT).