Seafarer Input Urgently Sought for S-Mode Navigation Systems

S-Mode for navigation systems is a push for standard icons for key functions, logical grouping of information and simple user settings to help navigators more easily understand navigation functions on all vessels, not just the ones they are familiar with. Standardization increases safety and competence and makes life easier for navigators.

Navigators’ views are sought on the latest concept for S-Mode which is in its final stages of development before being finalized next year. This is for an “always on” standardization of key features to be adopted by the leading manufacturers of navigation systems.

The latest suggestions were presented at the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s 5th NCSR (navigation, communication, search and rescue) sub-committee meeting by the institute and other stakeholders including CIRM (Comité International Radio-Maritime), the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, and delegation members from Australia and the Republic of Korea.

The new proposal, by CIRM, focuses on: a standard approach to hotkeys, the establishment of “essential information blocks”, and defining a list of functions that must be accessible by single or simple operator action. However, these proposals need feedback from mariners before they become enshrined in IMO guidance, which is due to be finalized next year.

Have your say!

Visit to participate in three short surveys based on these proposals. They can be done individually or in groups. The groups might be bridge teams (if internet is available), officers in a shipping company or training organization. Instructions and tutorials are available with the surveys and further background information is available including a recorded webinar and full documentation.

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