U.S. Coast Guard Reconsiders Broadcasting NAVTEX over Medium Frequency


By The Maritime Executive 09-24-2019 08:52:05

The U.S. Coast Guard may cease broadcasting Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) over Medium Frequency (MF), and is calling for public comment on the issue.

Navigation Telex (NAVTEX) is an international automated service for radio broadcast delivery of navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as urgent maritime safety information. NAVTEX provides a low-cost, automated means of receiving this information aboard ships at sea out to approximately 100 nautical miles off shore. It is part of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) which has been incorporated into the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) treaty to which the U.S. is a party. 

The U.S. Coast Guard operates this system nationwide but is now proposing to cease operating MF NAVTEX and, instead making this information available via IMO recognized satellite services in waters under U.S. responsibility. “The current MF NAVTEX equipment is in dire need of replacement. The equipment is antiquated and essential replacement parts are difficult to find and expensive, placing overall operation of MF NATEX at risk. Any approved GMDSS satellite terminal will be able to receive this information.

“We believe the transition from terrestrial broadcast to satellite will provide for more reliable delivery of NAVTEX information and allow better, more cost-effective products in the future. We also believe this change will have a low impact on the maritime public as satellite receivers have become more prevalent onboard vessels.”

Comments must be submitted to the online docket via http://www.regulations.gov, on or before November 12, 2019.