UKHO plan to phase out paper chart production by the end of 2026.
The UK Hydrographic Office has taken a bold step to stop printing ADMIRALTY Standard Nautical Charts (SNCs) and Thematic Charts. The announcement was made last Tuesday. UKHO stated that they plan to phase out paper chart production and fully digitalize navigation by the end of 2026.
Paper charts are durable and do not require a battery to use it. Generation of mariners has relayed on the paper charts for centuries making it a mainstay of navigation for centuries. However, electronic charts has become a default option in the recent years. UKHO also says most navigators and mariners these days have been using digital charts. There has also been a rapid decline for paper charts. furthermore, UKHO plan to phase out paper chart production will allow it to focus on digital charts.
“The decision to commence the process of withdrawing from paper chart production will allow us to increase our focus on advanced digital services that meet the needs of today’s seafarers,” said Peter Sparkes, UKHO’s chief executive.
“Shipping is moving quickly towards a future underpinned by digital innovations, enhanced satellite connectivity at sea and optimized data solutions, supporting the next generation of navigation. The UKHO aims to be at the vanguard of this digital transition.” He further added.
In addition, UKHO plan to update the ADMIRALTY Maritime Data Solutions digital navigation portfolio in near real-time. Also it will greatly enhancing safety of life at sea (SOLAS).
“As one of the world’s leading authorities on navigational charts, the UKHO is well positioned to recognize the need to deliver a range of digital solutions that enhance safety and data accuracy. The decision to focus on digital products and services makes strategic and commercial sense. Helping usher in a new era of maritime navigation, which will be powered by digital innovations.” Said Baroness Goldie, Minister of State at the UK government’s Ministry of Defense.