Vessel Traffic Information System

With the Singapore Strait and Singapore port waters as some of the busiest in the world, an advanced VTS (Vessel Traffic Service) is essential for the safe and efficient navigation of ships in these waters.

Ships in these waters report under STRAITREP to Singapore’s Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS), operated by MPA.

Details of STRAITREP, including requirements, ship reports, radio communication, etc

Categories of ships required to participate in the system
Ships of the following categories need to participate in the STRAITREP:

  • vessels of 300 GT and above;
  • vessels of 50 metres or more in length;
  • vessels engaged in towing or pushing with a combined GT of 300 and above, or with a combined length of 50 metres or more;
  • vessels of any tonnage carrying hazardous cargo;
  • all passenger vessels that are fitted with VHF, regardless of length or GT; and
  • any category of vessels fitted with VHF that uses the appropriate traffic lane or separation zone in an emergency situation to avoid immediate danger.

Geographical coverage and delineation of the system

The operational area of STRAITREP covers the Straits of Malacca and Singapore between longitudes 100°40'E and 104°23'E. The area includes the routing system in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. There are nine sectors in the area with an assigned VHF channel Communication in port and Singapore each.

The reference charts that show the operational area of STRAITREP are the:

  • Malaysian Chart Series MAL 515, 521 and 523 of the Hydrographer;
  • Royal Malaysian Navy; or
  • equivalent charts published by the competent hydrographic authority.

Ship report

The ship report should be made to the VTS authorities (below).

Format of report

The ship report needs to be drafted according to the prescribed reporting format.

Content of report

The report required from a ship contains only information that is essential to meet the objectives of the STRAITREP.

The sections mentioned correspond to the fields within the prescribed ship report. Essential information includes:

  • Section A – Name of ship, call sign, IMO identification number (if available);
  • Section C or D – Position;
  • Section P – Hazardous cargo, class if applicable; and
  • Section Q or R – Any breakdown, damage and/or deficiencies affecting the structure, cargo or equipment of the shipSection Q or R – Any circumstances affecting normal navigation defined according to the SOLAS and MARPOL Conventions.
  • Section E and F – Course and speed of ship – is required when requested by the VTS authority.

Note: Operators of the VTS will establish the relation between the ship's position and the information supplied by the facilities on receipt of a position message. The information on heading and speed will help the VTS operators identify a ship within a group.

Geographical position for submitting reports

Ships entering the operational area must report:

  • When crossing the Straits of Malacca and Singapore between longitudes 100°40'E and 104° 23'E;
  • when crossing the line joining Tg. Piai (01°15'.50N 103°30'.75E) and Pulau Karimun Kecil (01°09'.20N 103°24'.35E);
  • when leaving port or anchorages in the area or before joining the traffic lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS);
  • when approaching from the south via Selat Riau, abeam of Karang Galang Lt. (01°09'.58N 104°11'.37E);
  • when approaching from the south via Selat Durian, abeam of Pulau Jangkat Beacon (00°57'.89N 103°42'.62E); or
  • when approaching from the East Johor Strait, abeam of Eastern Buoy (01°17'.87N, 04°05'.89E).

A ship approaching from any direction other than those specified above must report the vessel's position in terms of bearing and distance once it reached sector 7, 8, or 9. The position can also be given in latitude and longitude. Make the report from one of these reference points:

  1. Pu Iyu Kechil Lt (01°11'.48N  103°21'.13E)
  2. Sultan Shoal Lt (01°14'.38N  103°38'.88E)
  3. Raffles Lt (01°09'.61N  103°44'.45E)
  4. Sakijang Lt Bn (01°13'.31N  103°51'.28E)
  5. Bedok Lt (01°18'.54N  103°55'.97E)
  6. Tg. Stapa Lt (01°20'.57N  104°08'.14E)
  7. Horsburgh Lt (01°19'.81N  104°24'.34E)

VTS (Vessel Traffic Service) Authorities  

The VTS authorities for the STRAITREP are as follows:

  1. Sector 1 to Sector 5 – Klang VTS;
  2. Sector 6 – Johor VTS;  and
  3. Sector 7 to Sector 9 – Singapore VTS.

Information provided to ships and maintaining a listening watch

STRAITREP provides information to ships about:

  • specific and critical situation that could cause conflicting traffic movements; and
  • other information concerning safety of navigation

Every ship needs to maintain a VHF radiotelephone listening watch on the appropriate VHF Channel depending on the sector where a ship is. The VHF channel 16 and any other channel specified by the appropriate VTS authority (see the plan of the sectors for the appropriate authority) broadcast information of general interest to ships. This broadcast will start with an announcement on the appropriate VHF channel assigned to the sector.

STRAITREP radio communications

The call to the appropriate VTS authority must be made on the VHF channel assigned to the particular sector where the ship is located. The report must be transmitted on that channel or any other available channel assigned by the appropriate VTS authorities. STRAITREP is based on VHF voice radio communication and it is interactive.

The language used for communication is English combined with the use of the IMO Standard Marine Communications Phrases where necessary.

Applicable rules and regulations

The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 are applicable throughout the operational area of STRAITREP.

The approved rules by IMO for vessels navigating through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore are applicable throughout the area.

Shore-based STRAITREP facilities

The shore-based operations support facilities of the STRAITREP and their available communication equipment are as follows:

        I.      Klang VTS

  • Telephone, facsimile and telex communication
  • 6 sets of VHF radio communication equipment
  • 6 real-time display consoles for 'X' and 'S' bands radar signals from remote radar stations

      II.      Johor VTS

  • Telephone, facsimile and telex communication
  • 4 sets of VHF radio communication equipment
  • 4 real-time display consoles for 'X' and 'S' bands radar signals from remote radar stations              

     III.      Singapore VTS

  • Telephone, facsimile and telex communication
  • 11 sets of VHF radio communication equipment
  • 4 real-time display consoles for "X" band radar signals from remote radar stations
  • 4 sets of VHF radio directions finder in marine bands

   IV.      Remote stations

The names of the remote stations are tabulated against their available equipments below.

Remote stations ‘X’ band radar facility ‘S’ band radar facility VHF transmitters and receivers VHF/DF radio direction  finder
Pulau Angsa 1 unit 1 unit Available  
Bukit Jugra 1 unit 1 unit Available  
Cape Rachado 1 unit 1 unit Available  
Pulau Undan 1 unit 1 unit Available  
Bukit Segenting 1 unit 1 unit Available  
Tanjung Piai 1 unit 1 unit    
Bukit Pengerang 1 unit 1 unit Available  
Sultan Shoal Lighthouse 1 unit   Available  
Raffles Lighthouse 1 unit      
St. Johns Island 1 unit      
Bedok Lighthouse       2 sets
Bedok 1 unit      
Horsburgh Lighthouse 1 unit   Available  
Jurong Control       2 sets

 

Robust communication facilities

The STRAITREP’s design avoids any irretrievable breakdown of equipment that would hinder the functioning of the common services provided by the respective VTS authorities.

The most important equipment and power sources are duplicated, and the facilities are provided with emergency generating sets and Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) units. A maintenance team is available 24 hours a day to attend to any breakdown.

The adjacent station in the STRAITREP can provide the necessary coverage when one station fails