Russia to commision Northern Sea Route hydrographic surveys to identify safe-water routes for large ships
Updated charts of the Northern Sea Route without the 'white spots' will be created in 2015-2016, in addition, the Ministry of Transport is planning to organize this year's transfer of jurisdiction from the Ministry of Defence to FSUE 'Hydrographic Enterprise' or in its own subordinate structure, said the deputy director of the Department of State Policy for Maritime and River Transport of Russia, Vitaly Klyuev.
"We will increase the hydrographic work in the Arctic to the year 2015-2016 to get a real picture of the depths for safe navigation," he said at a news conference in RIA Novosti, devoted to the preparation of the Russian exposition at the World exhibition "Expo-2012" to be held from May to August in South Korea.
According to Klyuyev, surveying the work in the Arctic will be done in conjunction with SCF and Rosatomflot. 'White spots' (areas without depth data) on the charts will not be covered throughout the whole region, but survey work will be concentrated on the Northern Sea Route in the interests of the safe navigation of ship traffic.
According to Director of Non-Profit Partnership for the Coordination of Northern Sea Route Vladimir Mickle, over the past 20 years, soundings in the Arctic have been limited because of a reduction in the hydrographic budget. However, in 2011 funding was restored, and for the first time it was sufficient enough for seven survey ships to work on the route.