- International Association of Lighthouse Authorities
The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (or IALA for short) is a non-profit organization founded in
1957to collect and provide nautical expertise and advice.
The International Association of marine aids to navigation and Lighthouse Authorities brings together representatives of the aidsto navigation services of more than 80 member countries for technical coordination, information sharing, and coordination of improvements to visual aids to
navigationthroughout the world. It was established in 1957 to provide a permanent organization to support the goals of the Technical Lighthouse Conferences, which had been convening since 1929. The General Assembly of IALA meets about every 4 years. The Council of 20 members meets twice a year to oversee the ongoing programs.
Five technical committees maintain the permanent programs:
* The Marine Marking Committee
* The Radionavigation Systems Committee
* The Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Committee
* The Reliability Committee
* The Documentation Committee
IALA committees provide important documentation to the
International Hydrographic Organizationand other international organizations, while the IALA Secretariat acts as a clearing house for the exchange of technical information, and organizes seminars and technical support for developing countries.
Its principal work since 1973 has been the implementation of the
IALA Maritime Buoyage System. This system replaced some 30 dissimilar buoyage systems in use throughout theworld with 2 major systems.
IALA is based near Paris in
The IALA is primarily known for its buoyage or
sea marksystems that are used in the pilotageof vessels at sea:
Lateral marks indicate the edges of a channel.
Cardinal marks indicate the direction of safe water at a dangerous spot.
Safe water marks indicate the deep water and open end of a channel.
Special marks indicate administrative areas, such as speed restrictions or water skiing areas.
Isolated danger marks indicate a hazard to shipping.
Each type of mark has a distinctive
colour, shapeand possibly a characteristic light.
The text of "Background" section of this article originated from section 125 of The
American Practical Navigator, a document produced by the government of the United States of America.
International Hydrographic Organization
Captain John Bury
General Lighthouse Authority
* [http://www.iala-aism.org Homepage of the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities]
* [http://www.cgate.co.il/eng/Seamanship/buoy_lateral.htm Buoyage lateral system] IALA A, IALA B
* [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_American_Practical_Navigator Bowditch has references to IALA]
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