Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
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58 Proceedings Summer 2015 www.uscg.mil/proceedings As numerous e-Navigation tools become more common, maritime educators must play an increasingly crucial role in training future navigators. Electronic navigation aids such as the Automatic Identification System (AIS), the Global Positioning System (GPS), electronic chart display and infor- mation systems (ECDIS), and even automatic radar plotting aids (ARPA), offer the navigator enhanced information such as vessel positioning, route planning/monitoring, and auto- matic plotting. But automating such processes can change the very tasks they are meant to support. 1 As a result, the modern navigator has a more active role in monitoring and interpreting electronic aids than ever before. However, with this shift, automation "creates new error pathways, shifts consequences of error further into the future and delays opportunities for error detection and recovery." 2 The trend toward more numerous electronic aids requires this consideration along with expanded knowledge and skill sets. Therefore, the navigator must continue to develop greater comprehension regarding electronic aids capabili- ties and limitations. Moreover, electronic navigation technology can raise situ- ational awareness if used properly or it can overload an untrained watchstander. So, training programs must focus on integrating position-fxing methods using visual and radar information with new electronic navigation aids. Watchstanding While the Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) code does not refer to the concept of e-Navigation specifcally, deck offcer training must still follow USCG and STCW guidelines for electronic navigation aids. The International Maritime Organization mandatory carriage requirements also place greater emphasis on elec- tronic navigational aids. While AIS aids to navigation (ATON) and electronic marine safety information (eMSI) are important steps forward in integrating navigational information on electronic bridge equipment, this information increases the navigator's situ- ational awareness, but it also requires the navigator to com- pare and cross-check electronic navigation aids. The user must then analyze and prioritize dynamic information from various navigational sensors, while simultaneously main- taining situational awareness. While the fundamentals of navigation are not changing, the approach to using navigational information is. The challenge for maritime educators and the USCG, which regulates domestic training curricula, will be to balance the training requirements for profciency in both paper and electronic charts. The Tide is Turning Many maritime training programs introduce electronic aids, such as ECDIS, later in the curriculum, after the basics of navigation using paper charts. This sequence mirrors the progression of bridge equipment on ships (which incre- mentally added ARPA, then AIS and Electronic Chart Sys- tem/ECDIS). Adding the new information available from electronic tools will require a holistic approach. This will be a fundamental shift, as the terminal bridge resource Looking out the Window Training the navigator for 21 st century waterways. CAptAin SCott poWell, Mni, Mrin Associate Professor, Department of Marine Transportation California Maritime Academy Delivering the Future of Navigation Training for 21 st century waterways will build off of ECDIS training that includes integrating many watchstanding components such as the visual lookout with radar navigation skills. Photo courtesy of the author.