Kumar Completes Higher Navigation Training

Sunil Kumar, a navigation safety officer with Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) has successfully completed an Aids to Navigation (AtoN) Manager Level 1 course at the International Association of
09 Sep 2015 09:03
Kumar Completes Higher Navigation Training
Sunil Kumar receives his certificate from the Dean of the IALA World-Wide Academy, Mr Jean-Charles Leclair.

Sunil Kumar, a navigation safety officer with Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) has successfully completed an Aids to Navigation (AtoN) Manager Level 1 course at the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) World- Wide Academy in Paris, France.

The one-month training was in accordance with the IALA approved programme, which is required of an aids to navigation manager.

Mr Kumar was fully sponsored by the IALA world-wide academy and was one of the only two representatives from the South Pacific region. Other participants were from Korea, China, Bahrain, Oman, Ukraine and Solomon Islands. He is the first person from Fiji to attend such training, which makes him the first and only Aids to Navigation Manager Level 1 in the country.

The training was conducted by experts and professionals from various fields such as maritime, hydrography, aids to navigation, global navigation satellite system, automatic identification systems.

In addition, there were representatives from the International Maritime Pilots Association, UK lighthouse authorities, and manufacturers of AtoN.

The successsful participants were awarded with an Aids to Navigation Manager Certificate. The syllabus covered were the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Nautical Knowledge, Position, Navigation, Timing and Meteorology, Design and Management of Aids to Navigation, Maintenance, Contracts, Marine Environment, Historic Lighthouses and Human Resource issues.

Other topics were technical functions related to both visual and radio Aids to Navigation, which also included e-Navigation and Vessel Traffic Services and Power Supplies used for Aids to Navigation.

The main aim of IALA is to harmonise aids to navigation world-wide to ensure movement of vessels are safe, expeditious, cost effective; and harmless to marine environment.

This is-in-line with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Regulations.

IALA World-Wide Academy enables IALA to deliver training and capacity building programmes. Furthermore, the Academy capacity building forms part of the United Nations “Delivering as One” initiative.

“The training was challenging but satisfying as my experience in hydrography, nautical cartography and maritime safety information greatly assisted me in my preparation for final examinations”, Mr Kumar said.

He added that as the national authority responsible for AToNs, the challenges are to comply with SOLAS Chapter V Regulations, which is to provide such aids to navigation in Fiji waters and ensure that AtoNs conforms to IALA standards.

“I would sincerely like to thank the manager safety, compliance and response Captain Philip Hill and acting chief executive officer Mr John Tunidau and MSAF staff for their support and encouragement, most importantly to my family for their trust, endurance and continuous words of encouragement whilst in France. Without them, this would not have been possible.” Mr Kumar said.

“Now, at this level, I would like to encourage all those interested in maritime studies to persue their studies in this field.

“Go for it once you get that opportunity, because it will never come back. Keep aiming high and be the best in what you do.”

MSAF acting chief executive officer John Tunidau stated that the MSAF is committed to ensuring that its staff are trained to the highest level of competency required for specialised position in the Authority and will continue to send its staff to these specialsed training.”


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