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Transas launches ‘Pay As You Sail’ licensing for ENCs

Transas has become the latest company to move into the ‘Pay As You Sail’ ENC licensing arena with the launch of its new product which will allow vessels to install, view and pre-plan using official ENCs before they have to pay to license the charts.

Approval for the ‘Pay As You Sail’ (PAYS) service has been granted by PRIMAR and IC-ENC, after the completion of successful sea trials and verification by Det Norske Veritas (DNV).

Traditionally, ship navigators have had to select and purchase charts prior to each voyage using what is commonly called ‘pre-licensing’, with the licence period beginning as soon as the chart was opened.

With the Transas PAYS solution the vessel will have a licence and access to install, view and pre-plan using official ENCs provided in (S)ENC format, in areas where the necessary PAYS permissions have been obtained, without any additional cost.

Readers of Digital Ship may be familiar with other ‘Pay As You Sail’ type systems previously launched into the commercial maritime market, from Dutch company Datema and, more recently, Norwegian provider NAVTOR.

One of the major differences between these two products is the method used to track when the vessel has entered a chart area, to begin the licence period. With the Datema product a tracking unit is installed onboard the vessel, while NAVTOR uses AIS data or direct polling by Inmarsat-C to establish the whereabouts of the ship for licensing purposes.

The Transas ‘Pay As You Sail’ service adopts a third approach, whereby recording and reporting of charts used is done by extraction of data from the Transas Navi-Sailor 4000 ECDIS logbook, and vessels only pay for charts actually used for navigation monitoring.

Using this method, only charts that have been displayed on the screen together with ship’s position or generated navigational alarms will be subject to licensing.

In principle, Transas says, this should see a vessel licensing the “best scale charts only”, and not all charts and scale bands under the keel.

The service also includes functionality for accessing chart licences and corrections online with the ECDIS.

The ‘Pay As You Sail’ system communicates via a firewalled Transas Gateway for licensing, corrections and to send chart reports. The Transas Gateway operates via a secure internet connection from the vessel’s Navi-Sailor 4000 ECDIS to the Transas Chart Server.

This configuration also allows for remote support and maintenance on the ECDIS from shore.

“With the official Transas Admiralty Data Service (TADS) SENC-service developed in cooperation with the UKHO, Transas ‘Pay As You Sail’ gives the vessel access to the most cost and time efficient (S)ENC service on the market and the best (S)ENC coverage available for navigation and planning,” said Anders Rydlinger, Transas Marine navigation product development director.

“Transas’ ‘Pay As You Sail’ service complies with UKHO requirements. Besides the vessel’s internet connection, no extra communication equipment or tracking service is needed.”

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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