In accordance with Advisory A-32-2022 issued on October 5, 2022, effective from October 1, 2023, it will be mandatory for all vessels passing through the Panama Canal with beams measuring 33.2 meters (109 feet) or greater to possess a fixed (non-portable) piloting unit equipped with real-time kinematics (RTK) technology to ensure submeter accuracy.
While a portable piloting unit with RTK (PPU-RTK) will be available for rental temporarily, the Panama Canal Authority strongly advises all customers to proceed with the procurement, configuration, and installation of the fixed RTK antenna to comply with this requirement.
The associated costs and time involved in doing so are considerably lower than the potential transit delays and rental expenses that may be incurred without it.
To adhere to the aforementioned requirement, the following procedure must be followed:
b. When a vessel equipped with a fixed RTK antenna announces its intention to visit the Panama Canal, include the following remark in the visit details via the Panama Maritime Single Window (VUMPA): NPU completed.
c. The RTK antenna network must provide a minimum of three connections for Panama Canal usage while the vessel is within Panama Canal waters. Additionally, it is recommended to assign Wi-Fi channel 11 exclusively for the RTK antenna network.
The Panama Canal Authority is presently collaborating with multiple suppliers who have provided the following information:
a) The availability of equipment.
b) The installation and configuration of the antenna can be completed within a day.