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  • 2018 October 25 14:26

    Finnish Transport Agency reports on current VTS matters

    The Finnish Transport Agency says its most recent customer and stakeholder survey on vessel traffic services was carried out between 18 June and 19 August 2018. “We are very grateful for the 81 survey responses we received in total”, says the Agency.

    This was the third survey containing the same battery of questions. The previous surveys were carried out in 2015 and in 2012. Based on the results of these three surveys, it can generally be stated that, with each survey, clients and stakeholders have reported being slightly more satisfied with the service provided by the VTS, Helsinki Traffic (GOFREP) and Turku Radio.

    The Vessel Traffic Services website will be updated based on the obtained feedback directly after the change of the year, when the provision of vessel traffic services has been transferred to the traffic management group.

    During the period 1 October 2015–30 September 2017, the Finnish Transport Agency conducted a trial of using English as the primary VTS language in the VTS areas along the Finnish coast. During this trial, two surveys were conducted to examine the opinions and experiences of using English as the primary VTS language. The first survey was conducted between 4 May and 15 June 2016. A total of 220 respondents participated in the survey. Of these, 47.3% stated that they totally agree or tend to agree that the use of English as the primary VTS language is good.

    The second survey was conducted between 5 June and 20 August 2017. This was sent to a more comprehensive group, and 462 respondents completed the survey. A total of 66.4% of the respondents who answered the question totally agreed or tended to agree with the statement “To what extent would you agree or disagree that the use of English as the primary VTS language is good?”. The Finnish Transport Agency recently issued a recommendation that English be used as the primary VTS language in the VTS areas along the coast.

    In the summer of 2018, the President of the Republic of Finland signed the acts under which the Finnish Transport Agency’s traffic management functions will be corporatised. This means that, from 1 January 2019, the current Vessel Traffic Services of the Finnish Transport Agency will be changed into the company, Vessel Traffic Services Finland Ltd. Clients will only notice this conversion into a separate company through the changed logos in publications and on the website. We are striving to carry out the reform so that as much information as possible, such as phone numbers to the VTS centres will remain unchanged.

    The aim of the reform is to achieve flexible and agile traffic management and to develop the service markets generating around traffic management data in particular. The new Traffic Management Finland Group will include the subsidiaries producing traffic management and control services for all four modes of transport (road, railway, maritime transport and aviation). More information about the corporatisation progress will be provided to clients before the company begins operations.

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