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Thames AIS

AIS equipment in operationThames AIS has been developed a new application of GPS technology to overcome difficulties of radar use in bridge-dominated Central London and improve safety of navigation in the area.

All passenger and commercial vessels of over 40m loa or 50gt are required to carry a special transponder and laptop computer.  This equipment will provide information on the vessel’s location to both PLA and other vessels operating in the area.  The crew on each vessel will be required to log the number of passengers on board before they cast off, as this information can be critical in the event of an incident.

Click here to download the relevant Byelaws (opens in a new window).

Thames AIS - Initial Set Up

Thames AIS must be configured correctly to ensure that the messages are being correctly transmitted.  The PLA’s Navigation Systems Department can provide advice if required.  The number of persons onboard may be transmitted in the clear or encrypted.  Whenever a new system is installed, the PLA should be notified of the Vessel Name, the MMSI (allocated by Ofcom) and the encryption key (if used).

Thames AIS - Transponder Hire

Click here to download the document Thames AIS Temporary Units - Guidance (opens in a new window)

Casual visitors to the Port may hire portable Thames AIS equipment from the PLA, subject to certain terms and conditions. The application form can be downloaded either as a Word document for completion on screen or as a pdf file to print and complete (both open in a new window). 

Thames AIS - Persons Onboard Reporting

Thames AIS is configured to report the total number of Persons On-Board (POB) for Search and Rescue purposes and not just the number of passengers carried.  The number of crew must be included in the POB figure entered in Thames AIS.

The MCA has approved for the Port of London Authority to act as “Passenger Registrar” for passenger vessels required to report in accordance with MSN 1794 that are fitted with Thames AIS.  Vessels seeking to appoint the Port of London Authority as their “Passenger Registrar” should use the procedure in the attached document - Thames AIS POB Registrar (opens in a new window).