Vessel Traffic Service New York Background
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As part of a major effort to improve safety and protect the environment in the New York Harbor area, Congress provided funding to the U.S. Coast Guard to reestablish Vessel Traffic Service New York (VTSNY) in 1991. VTSNY is the waterway manager for the Port of New York and New Jersey, helping to protect the people, property and environment of the Port by promoting good order and predictability on the waterways. This is accomplished by coordinating vessel movements through the collection, verification, organization, and dissemination of information.
The VTSNY area consists of the waters of the Lower New York Bay bounded to the east by a line drawn from Norton Point to Breezy Point, then south to the entrance buoys at Ambrose, Swash, and Sandy Hook Channels, and to the west by a line drawn in the Raritan Bay from Great Kills Light on Staten Island to Point Comfort in New Jersey. In addition, VTS New York encompasses the waters of the Upper New York Bay, including the Kill Van Kull south to the Arthur Kill Railroad Bridge and Newark Bay north to the Lehigh Valley Draw Bridge, and in the Hudson River, north to a line drawn east-west from the Holland Tunnel ventilator shaft at 40 43.7'N., 074 01.6'W., and east to the Brooklyn Bridge.
The Vessel Traffic Center (VTC) located on Governors Island, currently receives radar and closed circuit television (CCTV) information from four remote sites throughout the Port of New York/New Jersey. There is a radar, CCTV and VHF-FM communications site at Mariners Harbor in the Kill Van Kull; a radar and CCTV site in New Brighton in the Kill Van Kull (near the Salt Docks); a radar, CCTV and VHF-FM site on Governors Island and a radar and VHF-FM site at Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Additional radar, CCTV and communications sites will be established as VTSNY expands its coverage to the Arthur Kill and East River, tentatively scheduled for the fall of 1995. The installation of these 9 additional remote sites (for a total of 13) will provide 100 percent communications, radar and CCTV coverage throughout the entire VTSNY area of responsibility. The remote VHF-FM sites are designed to permit low power (1 watt) communications from anywhere in the VTS area.
The VTC makes exhaustive use of technology to assist operators in providing accurate, timely advisories to VTS participants. A data base containing the names and characteristics of all regular VTS participants is immediately available for assignment to radar images. This system allows VTS operators more time to monitor traffic and foresee possible developing problems without having to interpret raw radar data. Statistical information is also easier to retrieve.