An Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) is a computer-based navigation system that complies with IMO regulations and can be used as an alternative to paper navigation charts.
An ECDIS includes Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC) and integrates position information from the Global Positioning System (GPS), and other navigational sensors, such as RADAR, Fathometer and automatic identification systems (AIS).
It may also display additional navigation-related information, such as Sailing Directions.
The requirement for the installation of an ECDIS comes into force over the next 6 years from July 2012 in stages depending on the vessel type.
Training is one of the key elements in regards to ECDIS compliance. It has been an area of confusion, mis-understanding and mis-interpretation. Basically there are two components which make up training for ECDIS compliance.
This should follow the IMO model course 1.27 (40 hours duration) for bridge officers to satisfy the IMO Standards for Training Certification and Watch Keeping (STCW).
Equipment or type specific training for a particular make and model of ECDIS needs to be carried out according to the IMO’s International Safety Management (ISM) Code.
ECDIS familiarization is defined as:
The process required to become familiar with any on-board ECDIS (including back up) in order to assure and demonstrate competency in relation to a specific ship’s ECDIS installation, prior to taking charge of a navigation watch.
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