Coast Guard Holding Public Meetings on AIS Requirements

Friday, October 31, 2003
The Coast Guard is seeking public input on possibly expanding requirements for vessels to install Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and is convening three public meetings around the country in November and December to facilitate discussion on this issue. Currently, Coast Guard regulations require AIS be installed on commercial vessels that are on international voyages. Other commercial vessels are also required to have AIS when they are operating in U.S. waters that have Vessel Traffic Systems or Vessel Movement Reporting Systems. The deadline for installation of this equipment is either July 1, 2004, or Dec. 31, 2004, depending on the vessel. The Coast Guard asks the public to comment on the expansion of the AIS requirement to other vessels and waterways. The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 specifies requirements for vessels to use AIS. AIS is a type of vessel-tracking equipment that automatically sends detailed ship information to other ships and shore-based agencies, allowing for comprehensive, virtually instantaneous vessel tracking and monitoring, increasing security and safety in our shipping channels. The public meetings will be held in New Orleans; New Bedford, Mass.; and Seattle, as follows: * November 5, 2003, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at 8th Coast Guard District, Hale Boggs Federal Building, Room B100, 501 Magazine Street, New Orleans. * November 13, 2003, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at New Bedford Whaling Museum, Museum Theater, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, Mass. * December 9, 2003, 1 to 4:30 p.m., at 13th Coast Guard District, Federal Building, 915 Second Avenue, 4th Floor, Northern Auditorium, Seattle. The Coast Guard asks the public to respond to ten specific questions that address issues such as security and safety considerations, possible waivers and exemptions and costs. The Coast Guard encourages the public to submit comments on the ten questions and any additional AIS issues. The comment period ends on Jan. 5, 2004. To submit comments and read associated materials, including the questions, visit

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