VTS Services in Norway
Published: 8/24/2011, Updated: 10/19/2011
In order to promote safety and navigability on the coast, the Norwegian Coastal Administration monitors traffic in the following ways:
In regulated VTS areas
The maritime traffic control centres monitor and regulate the ship traffic in regulated geographic areas along the Norwegian coast. Established radar sensors, video cameras, meteorological sensors, the Norwegian Coastal Administration's AIS chain, and the SafeSeaNet Norway (SSNN) messaging and reporting system for ship traffic are important support tools for the traffic control centres in this area.
Outside regulated VTS areas
Control of risk tonnage
With the help of the Norwegian Coastal Administration's AIS chain and the coordination of data against the messaging and reporting system SafeSeaNet Norway (SSNN), it is possible to monitor ship traffic along the coast, even outside the areas that are covered by radar sensors. General monitoring of the entire coastal area does not lie within the mandate of the Norwegian Coastal Administration. The Norwegian Coastal Administration focuses on the transport of hazardous and pollutive substances, as well as large towing jobs. This traffic consists primarily of shipments from Northwest Russia and traffic to and from the Baltic region, as well as traffic in connection with Norwegian activities – including, in particular, the shipping of crude oil and products from the petroleum industry.
Verification of legality
Maritime traffic monitoring is also aimed at verification of the legality of the vessels' use of the coast. This includes, for example, verification of compliance with the compulsory pilotage regulations, regulations relating to pilot exemption certificates and enforcement of the notification regime.
Support in emergency and crisis situations
The Norwegian Coastal Administration's overview of the maritime traffic situation is an important foundation for handling undesired situations and incidents at sea. The maritime traffic control centres take action by notifying, for example, other public authorities or summoning tugboat assistance in the event of undesired or acute incidents at sea. The traffic control centres therefore play an important role in the Norwegian Coastal Administration's first-line response to acute pollution and other undesired situations and incidents at sea.
Statistics and documentation
Ship movements that are not monitored by the traffic control centres due to legal or other reasons are nevertheless included in databases for subsequent documentation and statistics. The Norwegian Coastal Administration cooperates and exchanges information with other government agencies, such as the Norwegian Armed Forces, Customs, Police, and the Norwegian Maritime Directorate.