Supporting a VTS upgrade

Ensuring a new VTS system would meet user needs, IALA standards and integrate with other decision-support tools

Supporting a VTS upgrade

The Port of London Authority (PLA) is the UK’s largest port handling more than 50 million tonnes of cargo and 10 million passenger journeys each year.  

To oversee the safe movement of commercial and leisure vessels, it runs Britain's biggest and most modern Port Control Service, using a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS).  Operating out of two vessel management centres, London VTS spans 95 miles from Teddington to the North Sea, covering in excess of 600 square miles.


The PLA wished to upgrade its VTS system to meet future needs and integrate efficiently with other decision-support tools.


Recognised as a specialist in VTS and port management systems, NASH Maritime was asked to assist the PLA in developing the new software’s specification.

As a team of 44 VTS personnel oversee the PLA’s VTS area, key to developing an appropriate, fit-for-future VTS system specification was understanding user needs.

To determine the mandatory and desirable requirements, we undertook discovery work with both the Port’s IT and VTS departments. We also wanted to understand the PLA’s strategic and operational needs.

Bringing this altogether we developed a specification that

- met VTS system operator needs,

- took account of IT security and software integration requirements, and

- aligned with national and international data regulations and IALA standards.

Once finalised the specification was used to develop the tender documents for the new software system.

NASH Maritime was supported by Halcro Electronics and AFS Consultants.

Image copyright: Sander Cromback Unsplash

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