NOTICES TO SKIPPERS
National and local fairway authorities are obliged to inform users about issues regarding the waterway that might influence safety and accessibility. The Notices to Skippers serve to communicate information such as the status of the inland waterway infrastructure (i.e. bridges and locks), failures of aids to navigation, temporary blockages of waterway sections or other types of infrastructure, works, water level and water depth information, ice information and weather messages. The international standard for Notices to Skippers provides a standardised data format which can be used both for publishing notices on the Internet (pull services) or for distribution by e-mail (push services).
Pursuant to Resolution 2019-II-9 the principal missions of the temporary Working group for Notices to Skippers (CESNI/TI/NtS) shall be:
to prepare proposals for the revision of technical specifications for the Standard Notices to Skippers (NtS Standard), as referred to in CESNI’s multi-annual work programme for 2019-2021;
to provide advice regarding the proper implementation of the standards in the field of River Information Services (RIS), in particular regarding NtS;
to provide advice and analysis on standards in the field of RIS, in particular regarding NtS.
The development tasks proposed to CESNI/TI/NtS for the period 2019-2021 are as follows:
to prepare a revision of the technical specifications for Notices to Skippers (NtS Standard, Edition 5.0);
to draft a proposal to update on NtS XSD and NtS Web Service Specification;
to draft a proposal to update of the NtS Encoding Guide;
to draft a proposal to update of NtS Reference Tables.
This technical specification for NtS provides rules for the data transmission of fairway information via the Internet. NtS shall provide information related to fairway conditions, traffic, weather, water levels and ice for Fairway Information Services. Important content of notices shall be automatically translated based on the standard vocabulary. The standardised structure of datasets has facilitated the integration of information to voyage planning systems and data-exchanges among NtS systems in different countries.
The technical specifications for Notices to Skippers (NtS Standard) are required in Directive 2005/44/EC on harmonised river information services on the EU’s inland waterways (hereinafter referred to as the RIS Directive), which refers to the four key technologies, including the technical specifications for Notices to Skippers (NtS Standard). The technical specifications were published with the Commission Regulation (EC) n°416/2007 of 22 March 2007 concerning the technical specifications for Notices to Skippers. In response to the need for updating the specifications, the adoption and publication of revised specifications took place in December 2018 with the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 2032/2018 of 20 November 2018.
Notices to Skippers enable issuing the following messages in a standardised format:
Fairway and traffic related messages consist of notices that provide information on a fairway section or an object.
Water level related messages consist of notices that provide information on the water level, bathymetric measurements, the vertical clearance, the barrage status, the discharge, the regime, the predicted water level, the bathymetric predictions or the predicted discharge.
Ice messages consist of notices that provide information on the ice situation.
Weather related messages consist of notices that provide information on the weather situation. (The Member states are not required to provide weather data.)
The international Standard for Notices to Skippers provides a standardised data format, which can be used for publishing notices to skippers on the Internet (pull services) or for distribution by e-mail (push services).
The messages include all relevant information in a machine-readable format (XML). NtS are considered in voyage planning applications as well as in map-based services. The messages are available to the application user in 21 languages of the member countries of the European Union, and in an additional three languages, namely Croatian, Serbian, and Russian. The NtS web-service solution enables language-independent exchange of information between countries for the sake of information provision to the end-users.
Click on the link below to download the latest Edition of the NtS standards that is in force.