VTS Communications


VTC Call Sign

The Vessel Traffic Center (VTC) call sign is "Port Arthur Traffic."  VTS Port Arthur requires vessel operators to use the vessel's official name when calling the traffic center.  Sabine pilots may use their individual identification number in addition to the vessel's name.

Designated Frequencies

VTS Port Arthur uses the following frequencies:


Frequency  Zone / Sector 

North Sector

All waters north and east of The School House (located at Intracoastal Waterway Mile 285), including the Sabine and Neches River.


South Sector

All waters south and west of The School House (located at Intracoastal Waterway Mile 285), including Port Arthur Ship Canal, Sabine Pass Channel, Sabine Bank Channel, Sabine Bank Safety Fairway.

Required Reports for VMRS Users

The following reports are required to be provided by VMRS Users while navigating within a VTS Area:


Sailing Plan

VMRS Users must report the following information via VHF-FM 15-minutes prior to entering the VTS Area or getting underway (preferably in this order):

  • Vessel Name

  • Location;

  • Destination and ETA;

  • Tow Configuration (How many and # of loaded/unloaded barges/if any bottle barges);

  • Vessel's Dimensions (Length x beam x draft);

  • Bunker Info (If Applicable);

  • Next Port of Call (For all outbound piloted vessels);

  • Dangerous Cargo (if any);

  • Other information deemed important.

Position Report

 VMRS Users must report their name and position:

  • Upon point of entry into a VTS area;

  • At designated reporting points;

  • When directed by the VTC.

Final Report

VMRS Users must report their name and position:

  • On arrival at its destination;

  • When leaving a VTS area.

Other Required Reports

All VTS Users must report the following:

  • A marine casualty as defined in 46   CFR Sec 4.05-1;
  • Involvement in the ramming of a fixed or floating object;
  • A pollution incident as defined in   33 CFR Sec. 151.15;
  • A defect or discrepancy in an aid to navigation;
  • A hazardous condition as defined in 33 CFR Sec. 160.203 of this chapter;
  • Improper operation of vessel equipment required by 33 CFR164;
  • A situation involving hazardous materials for which a report is required by 49 CFR 176.48; and
  • hazardous vessel operating condition as defined in 33 CFR Sec. 161.2.
 NOTE:     VMRS Users must report deviations from their Sailing Plan, such as:

(a) When the ETA to a destination varies significantly from a previously reported ETA;
(b) Any intention to deviate from a VTS-issued measure or directive;
(c) Any significant deviation from previously-reported information.
































Reporting Exemptions

 The following vessels are exempt from the VMRS Reporting requirements listed above:

  1. Vessels equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) are required to make continuous, all stations, AIS broadcasts in lieu of voice Position Reports.  Should an AIS become non-operational, while or prior to, navigating a VMRS Area, it should be restored to an operating condition as soon as possible, notify the VTS and make voice Position Reports at designated Reporting Points as required by 33 CFR 161.20(b).

  2. Unless directed otherwise by the VTS, the following vessels are exempt from voice Position and Final Reports:

a. Vessels on a published schedule and route (ferries);
b. Vessels operating within a 3-nautical mile radius;
c. Vessels escorting another vessel or assisting another vessel in maneuvering (assist tugs).

These vessels must provide a Sailing Plan Report at least 5-minutes, but not more than 15-minues before navigating with the VTS Area. In addition, if a vessel departs from its promulgated schedule by more than 15-minutes or changes its limited operating area, it must make required VMRS Reports.