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Automatic Identification System (AIS)

AIS (Automatic Identification System) was introduced by the UN's International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to increase the safety of ships and the environment, and to improve traffic monitoring and Vessel Traffic Services.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration established AIS Norway in 2005, which today consists of approximately 70 base stations that receive information about all ships over 300 gross tons.

AIS Norway registers three types of information:

  • Dynamic (position, course, speed)
  • Static (identity, vessel type, dimensions)
  • Details on the sailing (destination, estimated time of arrival, cargo, draught)

AIS range is limited by VHF range, which is determined primarily by the height of the antenna. AIS Norway covers, with some exceptions, the area from the Norwegian baseline to 40-60 nautical miles from the coast.

AIS is an important tool in the national emergency preparedness against marine accidents and acute pollution.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration administers AIS Norway and is responsible for distributing AIS data to other governmental agencies. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centres, the Coast Guard and the police are some of the users of AIS data.

AIS data received by AIS Norway is stored over several years, making it a valuable tool for mapping transport patterns and trends for transport planning and maritime analysis.

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