The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) have announced a new bursary training scheme in Marine Cartography and Data Assessment. Organised jointly by the UKHO and MPA over a five-week period from 18th April 2016 at the MPA Academy in Singapore, the course will train attendees on compiling and maintaining navigational charts.
Drawn from ten nations, the course attendees will comprise employees of their national hydrographic offices, port authorities and/or related national agencies involved in the production and maintenance of navigational charts. The course will equip students with skills to create and maintain paper and digital charts utilising computer-aided cartography applications.
Rear Admiral Tim Lowe, National Hydrographer and Deputy Chief Executive of the UKHO commented:
“The UKHO and MPA have a well-established relationship on hydrographic training and we are very proud of this bursary training scheme in partnership with MPA. Our support for this course reflects the UKHO’s deep commitment to raising the standards of hydrography, and cartography around the world.
“As a nation with a strong maritime history, the UK understands the need for up to date and accurate marine cartography to better ensure navigation safety and the economic security of nations that depend on maritime trade for business.
“The course will bring together employees from government hydrographic offices within South East Asia, Australasia and the Pacific Island Community who will undoubtedly benefit from this professional development opportunity.”
Of the course, Dr Parry Oei, Director (Port Services)/Chief Hydrographer of MPA had this to say:
“The Port of Singapore is located along the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, one of the world’s busiest waterways. In order to keep pace with the demands of increasing maritime traffic over the decades, we firmly believe in proactively raising the standards of our profession. This has to be coupled with keeping abreast with technological changes, including those introduced by IMO’s e-Navigation initiative.
“We are delighted to be able to do our part to achieve this through our long-standing partnership with the UKHO. We hope that having the course here in Singapore would highlight the importance of a cartographers’ work in ensuring navigational safety and protection of the marine environment. Students would also experience first-hand the challenges of doing so in these busy waters.”
The UKHO, part of the UK Government, has a longstanding bilateral relationship with Singapore’s MPA. Both organisations work together in the field of hydrography in support of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
Accurate nautical charts are an essential element of SOLAS, as they help to facilitate precise passage planning to help safeguard the lives of mariners at sea. Chart compilation and maintenance is a complex and time-consuming undertaking that requires practitioners, known as nautical cartographers, to undergo specialist training to equip them with the skills and knowledge to produce safe and useable products.