Levels of Service: Aids to Navigation

Description:

  • The Aids to Navigation program involves the provision of short-range marine aids numbering over 17,000, including visual aids (fixed aids, lighthouses and buoys), aural aids (fog horns), radar aids (reflectors and beacons) and long-range marine aids, including electronic aids, such as the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS).
  • The benefit to mariners is safe, accessible and effective vessel transit in Canadian waters.

Objective:

  • To facilitate safe and expeditious movement of maritime traffic

Services:

  • Provision of visual and aural aids to navigation such as fixed aids, lighthouses, buoys and fog horns
  • Provision of electronic positioning systems such as the Differential Global Positioning System
  • Provision of navigation safety information

Service: Provision of visual and aural aids to navigation such as fixed aids, lighthouses, buoys and fog horns

Service

An aids to navigation system is provided where the volume of traffic justifies and the degree of risk requires aids (as per program directives and procedures manual) under the following conditions:

  • To guide mariners to and from harbours operated under Port Authorities or the CCG
  • To facilities supported by federal funds
  • In areas of adequate charts (CHS Charts) in conjunction with other marine services as part of an agreement made by the CCG
  • To allow re-supply of isolated communities that are dependent upon marine transportation, even where there is a lack of adequate charting
  • In harbours that predominantly serve commercial fishers

Short-Range Marine Aids may be established to:

  • assist landfall, mark approaches to harbours, ports and waterways
  • mark channels or tracks
  • mark hazards
  • identify positions or courses
  • indicate preferred routes
  • separate traffic (e.g. to mark traffic separation schemes noted by specialized symbols on Canadian Hydrographic charts)
  • indicate special areas such as anchorage

Short-Range Marine Aids will not be provided:

  • In waters for which this responsibility has been delegated to other authorities through legislation or signed agreements
  • In waters where there is a lack of adequate charting that restricts the safe use to those with local knowledge
  • In waters where adequate depth of water is not available for common use
  • In waters where the aid(s) cannot be maintained to targeted reliability levels
  • Exclusively for purposes other than navigation
  • To mark obstructions outside marked channels and away from charted routes and tracks. However, isolated dangers in waters which are known by adequate charting to be otherwise safe, and which are regularly frequented by an appreciable number of users, may be marked.
  • For other than public use and, thus, exclusively for the benefit of single or a small number of users, or to mark access to private or municipal facilities.

Service Standard

  • Visual aids are designed, where feasible, to be visible at least 75% of the time during the worst month of the navigation season. This is calculated based on long-term weather observations from the Meteorological Service of Canada – Environment Canada.
  • Aural aids may be provided when the design availability target of 75% cannot be achieved by visual means alone, for uncertified commercial vessels only.
  • Radar aids may be provided when the design availability target of 75% cannot be achieved by visual means alone, for certified commercial vessels only.
  • The overall target level for operational reliability for the short-range aids to navigation system is 99%, calculated over a three-year period.

Service: Provision of electronic positioning systems such as the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS)

Service

  • The CCG provides DGPS broadcast station coverage in Canadian coastal areas south of 60° N., major Canadian waterways, Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) zones and ports.
  • Multiple DGPS broadcast station coverage is provided in restricted high traffic waterways and harbour approaches which are designated VTS zones with radar coverage.

Service Standard

  • The position accuracy of the DGPS service will be 10 metres or better (95% of the time), in all specified coverage areas for suitable user equipment.
  • Signal availability of at least 99.5 % should exist in areas of single Canadian DGPS broadcast station coverage over a two year period.  Signal availability of at least 99.8% should exist in areas of multiple broadcast station coverage over a two year period.
  • The probability that the DGPS broadcast is providing healthy DGPS corrections at specified power when a user selects it, will be at least 99.8% of the time.
  • Warning within 10 seconds to users with suitably equipped receivers
  • When the system is available, the service continuity should be greater than or equal to 99.97% over 3 hours. (Note that this particular standard cannot be monitored at this moment).

Service: Provision of navigation safety information

Service

  • Provision of electronic versions of the following Navigation Safety publications on the Notices to Mariners website:
    • Monthly Notices to Mariners;
    • List of Lights, Buoys and Fog Signals;
    • Annual Edition of Notices to Mariners.
  • Make available for purchase through chart dealers paper versions of the following Navigation Safety publications:
    • List of Lights, Buoys and Fog Signals;
    • Annual Edition of Notices to Mariners.

Service Standard

  • East and West editions of Notices to Mariners are produced on a monthly basis and posted on the Notices to Mariners Website at the start of every month.
    • The Chart Correction portion (Section 2) of the Notices to Mariners are posted weekly on the Notices to Mariners website.
  • Publication every April of the Annual Edition of Notices to Mariners
  • Publication of the List of Lights, Buoys and Fog Signals for four geographic areas every two to three years.