The Amphitrite Point VTS Centre was officially opened on January 2, 1978, and for the next two months, the staff were deeply involved in geography training and the development of local procedures. VTS watch keeping commenced on the 6th of March 1978. VHF radio transceivers were located at the chosen radar site atop Mt Ozzard, 3 miles north of and some 2500 above Amphitrite Point. Because the VTS Centre would be dealing with mostly foreign vessels, it was decided that "Tofino Traffic" would be used as a voice callsign. It was considered that it would be easier to pronounce for the deck officers and Captains of foreign vessels instead of "Amphitrite Traffic" or "Ucluelet Traffic".
In July 1978 the radar arrived, and was transported to the site where it was installed high on Mount Ozzard. The 38 foot radar scanner is protected from the strong storm winds by a protective geodetic dome. On August 30, 1978, the radar signal was connected to the radar screens at Amphitrite Point. During the months that followed, the various systems and procedures were brought on to line. On the 17th of November, 1978, site acceptance testing began and by November 30th, the system was placed on operational test. A Notice to Shipping was issued to this effect.
In April 1980, the Tofino Coast Guard Radio Station (marine), operating in conjunction with the CG Air Radio Services at Tofino Airport since 1956, relocated to the new MCTS (VTS) centre. In addition to Mt Ozzard, the combined operation controls remote communications sites at Holberg (Quatsino Sound), Eliza Dome, Estevan Point, Esperanza, Nootka and Port Alberni. All peripheral sites are linked to the MCTS via a microwave system, with the exception of Holberg and Port Alberni, which are linked via leased telephone landlines. In order to facilitate service to remote sites, a helicopter pad was built at the centre in 1979.
Although co-located at the centre, the VTS and CG Radio Station worked as two independent operations until the amalgamation into MCTS began in April 1996.
Area of Responsibility:
Communications Sites Located at:
For Radio Services call Tofino Coast Guard Radio.
For Vessel Traffic Services call Tofino Traffic.
Canadian Coast Guard
Officer-in-Charge - MCTS Operations
Tofino MCTS Centre
P.O. Box 190
Call Sign: VAE
Maritime Mobile Service Identity Number: 00 316 0012
Radio Aids to Marine Navigation (RAMN): Pacific and Western Arctic