(l-r) Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Hon. William Samb, Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape and Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure, Roy Mumu, during the launch of AIS and LRIT tracking systems at Morauta Haus.
Prime Minister, James Marape, today launched the country’s Vessel Tracking and Monitoring system to provide real time information on inbound and outbound vessels. The Automatic Identification system (AIS) and the long range tracking and identification (LRIT) systems , have been on trial by the National Maritime Safety Authority for 12 months.
Mr Marape commended the Department of Transport and Infrastructure and the National Maritime Safety Authority for the timely commissioning, as they monitor the coronavirus disease 19 (covid-19). “This is also the first anniversary of the system being used.
There has been concerns on unchecked vessels entering PNG and I m happy we have the system to allay fears and concerns and to ease our people’s fear of vessels arriving into PNG unchecked and also give comfort that there are checks and balance at our finger tips as to the operations of front line agencies at the port facilities .
He said all vessels will be monitored on Automatic Identification System (AIS) and Long Range Identification Tracking (LRIT) vessels tracking systems. “This gives comfort to authorities like Department of Transport (DOT) and National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) to vouch for the controller and the people of PNG that all vessels are tracked and monitored to ensure that the orders are followed through.”
The prime minister says amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it gives us the opportunity to improve on the systems we have since independence and modernize what we are doing and this not only applies to the maritime sector but to all sectors.“I thank the Transport Department and the National Maritime Safety Authority and while we are monitoring our international vessel movements. “ I urge the department and NMSA to also work on developing our local maritime surveillance and monitoring and to work closely with all other government agencies doing similar work to collaborate and work together in this.”
Meanwhile, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Hon. William Samb, said the monitoring systems would assist and support the Controller of the State of Emergency and his team in enforcing the 14-day self-quarantine order .
“With these two systems we should be able to locate any vessels calling into our ports – with the press of a button, we should be able to zoom in and track their history before coming to PNG. “So if the vessel came on this date and met the 14-day quarantine requirement, we can go back and see whether they are telling the truth or not,” Mr Samb said.