Optimal Lay-Out and Dimensions for the Adjustment to Large Ships of Maritime Fairways in Shallow Seas, Seastraits and Maritime Waterways (1980)

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As mentioned by its Chairman in the foreword to the final reports of the International Commission for the Reception of Large Ships (ICORELS), this Commission is in some ways the successor to the 2nd International Oil Tankers Commission (IOTC) of PIANC.

In the same way Working Group 4 of ICORELS can be considered as a successor of Working Group 2 of the 2nd IOTC, which had as terms of reference :

Optimal dimensions and layouts of approaches (channels and manreuvring areas) for large tankers. considering among other things : 

  • the influence of winds, currents and waves.
  • means offered by modern technology for the ease and the control of navigation.

Even at first sight, one can see a striking resemblance between both sets of terms of reference. although those of Working Group 4 of ICORELS are extended to include fairways rather than approaches only, and the field of modern dredging technology.

It is evident that Working Group 4 had to look at the final report of its predecessor, published in PIANC Bulletin no.16, pages 47-126 English version, pages 127-207 French version.

Since 1973 many research papers relative to the subjects have been published. A revision, possibly combined with an up-dating of the Recommendations of the previous Group (Working Group 2 of the 2nd IOTC) seemed feasible.

However for such a revision the composition of Working Group 4 was far too one-sided being orientated towards the civil engineering sector, whilst a multidisciplinary approach is necessary.

A strengthening of the Group with some experts in the nautical and aids to navigation field however. did make the plan practicable.

A second difficulty was the obvious dependance on the findings of Working Group 2 of ICORELS. This Group had to deal with the necessary comptability of ship and shore based navigational aid equipment. Several efforts were made to come to a combined report, introduced by a comprehensive review of all available aids to navigation. At last however it was recognized that Working Group 2, dealing exclusively with radio aids to navigation and with the use of a basically electronic aid such as radar, to be installed in selected surveillance centres, could better proceed separately.

This may imply certain dangers of duplication regarding parts iii and iv of the terms of reference of Working Group 4 of ICORELS, but makes it easier for this Working Group to treat its subject which is comprehensive enough.

So the task of Working Group 4 of ICORELS can be restricted now to a continuation of the work of the previous Group 2 of the IOTC and to an extension of that work as laid down in the terms of reference.

Regarding the continuation of the work of the previous Group it has to be acknowledged that within the framework of a number of harbour projects (planned, under construction or completed) a large amount of research has been carried out. The results of this research are still preliminary, as an evaluation of research data and an inventory of experience in the operational field has either not yet started or is still to be completed.

Chapter 2.1 of the report, entitled Present state of studies and development"" is based on ascertained results known to the Working Group at the beginning of 1978. Research is continuing, especially in the following areas :

  • channel width, also in relation to information given to mariners by aids to navigation,
  • manreuvrability of ships in shallow water and at low speed,
  • risk analysis (collision and grounding) and
  • human factors.

Chapter 2.2 of this report comprises the revision of the ""Recommendations"" given by Working Group 2 of the 2nd IOTC, in accordance with the above remarks,

Finally the extension of the task of the Working Group regarding other types of fairways and regarding dredging technology is set out in two other chapters :

3. Navigation in Sea Straits,
4. Dredging for construction and maintenance.

Chapter 3 is to be considered as a first attempt to lay down some thoughts regarding the subject, permitting a future extension and deepening of knowledge.

Chapter 4 describes the technological dredging means available for the improvement and maintenance of deep water channels."

  • Written by: International commission for the reception of large ships - working group 04
  • Published: November 08, 1980
  • Language: English