VTS Services


Information Service

To enhance navigation and vessel safety, and to protect the environment,  a VTS may issue advisories or respond to vessel requests for information in reported conditions within the VTS area, such as:

  • Hazardous conditions or circumstances;
  • Vessel congestion;
  • Traffic density;
  • Environmental conditions;
  • Aids to navigation status;
  • Anticipated vessel encounters;
  • Another vessel's name, type, position, hazardous vessel operating conditions (if applicable), and intended navigational movements, as reported;
  • Temporary Measures in effect;
  • Description of local harbor operations and conditions, such as ferry routes, dredging, etc.;
  • Anchorage availability;
  • Other information or circumstances


VTS Port Arthur Navigational Information

Scheduled Broadcasts

VTS Port Arthur provides "deep draft" traffic advisories every 30 minutes at 25 and 55-minutes after the hour.  These advisories provide mariners with the name, location, direction and destination of ships and other large piloted craft. In addition, waterway advisories (broadcast at 55-minutes after each hour immediately following the Ship Broadcast) provide the following information:

  • VTS or Captain of the Port measures in effect (such as Safety Zones);

  • Channel hazards (for example, dredging and diving operations);

  • Aids to navigation discrepancies;

  • Known inclement weather.

Traffic Advisories

Traffic Advisories are provided following check-in with the VTC (Sailing Plan Report), upon request and when deemed necessary by VTC personnel. Traffic Advisories provide the mariner with information about vessel encounters likely to occur before the next Ship Broadcast or intersection.

Mariners are encouraged to request a traffic advisory at any time during their transit.


Traffic Organization

During conditions of vessel congestion, restricted visibility, adverse weather or other hazardous circumstances, a VTS may control, supervise, or otherwise manage traffic by specifying the times of entry, movement, or departure to, from, or within a VTS Area. 

When a dead-ship tow or rig movement is likely to impede traffic, the Captain of the Port may establish a Safety Zone. In these instances, VTS Port Arthur manages traffic to ensure a safe evolution.


Navigational Assistance

Utilizing installed AIS, radar, cameras and communications sensors and knowledge of the local area, navigation assistance service is provided at the request of the vessel or when deemed necessary by the VTS.

When providing this service, VTS contributes to the shipboard decision-making process by giving navigational information such as course and speed made good; position relative to the fairway axis and waypoints, ATON, or other landmarks.