Guernsey Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) will soon be moving to a new home on the end of the White Rock Pier at St Peter Port Harbour. Installation of the new Signal Station is underway on the site previously occupied by the original building, which was demolished 10 years ago.
Built by Inbox Projects in the UK, the new Signal Station is a two-storey container conversion which will accommodate two VTS operator positions on the first floor and a server room and breakout space on the ground floor, along with welfare facilities.
Guernsey VTS is responsible for vessel traffic management within the harbours of St Peter Port, St Sampson, and the approaches. This is achieved by proactively monitoring and managing vessel traffic movement, and by providing timely and relevant information to both commercial and leisure mariners.
The station is staffed by seven VTS Officers (VTSOs) who use a variety of systems including VHF radio, radar and AIS to deliver the vessel traffic service. The new building is being commissioned to replace the current temporary cabin which has reached the end of its serviceable life.
Assistant Harbourmaster and VTS Manager at Guernsey Ports, James Way said:
"Guernsey VTS is the first point of contact for commercial and leisure vessels navigating in our harbours and their approaches. VTSOs are on watch 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The new Signal Station will provide improved facilities and a modern and comfortable working environment for our staff, enabling them to focus on delivering an effective and professional traffic management service."
Guernsey's Harbourmaster Captain David Barker, said:
"Provision of a VTS service promotes safety of life at sea, safety of navigation and efficiency of vessel traffic movement. Investment in this new Signal Station will allow Guernsey Ports to deliver a 21st century VTS service which fully complies with international standards and is vital to maintain lifeline passenger and freight services to Guernsey and our outlying islands."
The final costs for the project are estimated at £320,000. Once installation of the building is complete, internal fitout of data and radio telephony services will commence with the new Signal Station expected to be fully operational in early 2022.
No reduction in the existing Guernsey VTS service is anticipated in the interim.