AMSA Addresses Concerns on Discontinuing DGPS Service
Friday, April 10, 2020 | Comments

In November, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) advised that it would discontinue the DGPS service 1 July and requested feedback. AMSA cited the increased accuracy of GPS and the introduction of other global positioning constellations including GLONASS, GALILEO and Beidou as being reasons why AMSA’s DGPS service is no longer needed.

AMSA received four submissions expressing concerns summarized below:
• Parts of Australia’s maritime industry said there was still a dependence on AMSA’s radiobeacon DGPS for accuracy, and shutting it down could affect their operations.
• Some ships still use DGPS-capable antennas and receivers, and they would need to replace them when DGPS is turned off.
• Some asked for more information on alternate systems for high accuracy positioning.
• One suggested the International Maritime Organizations (IMO) requirement for 10-meter accuracy was not good enough, and AMSA should be aiming for better accuracy.
• AMA was asked why it didn’t wait until the Australia and New Zealand Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS) is available before shutting down DGPS.
• Advice from formal stakeholder groups supported the decision and understood why AMSA was discontinuing the service.

Further information from AMSA, including GPS receiver updates and other options for higher accuracy positioning information, to address the concerns is available here.

AMSA also has a consultation on HF radiotelephone monitoring of distress and safety communications in Australia.

The recommended that jurisdictions cease high-frequency (HF) radio monitoring of distress and safety communications in Australia. The authority is seeking comment on the proposal by 29 November.

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