The partnership between CARIS and the Panama Canal Authority continues to develop. It started in 2010 with CARIS software being selected to produce Electronic Navigational Charts (ENC) for the Canal. Now, the Panama Canal Authority has become the latest organization to choose HPD for their marine data management and chart production needs.
Ships from all parts of the world transit daily through the Panama Canal. Some 14,000 vessels use the Canal every year. The expansion of the Panama Canal through the construction of a Third Set of Locks, is a program currently underway that will double the capacity of the Panama Canal by 2014, allowing more and larger ships to transit. The program will see the construction of two new sets of locks – one on the Atlantic side and another on the Pacific side of the Canal, excavation of a new access channel on the Pacific to link the new Pacific lock with Culebra Cut, deepening and widening of Canal entrances and existing navigational channels and projects to improve water supply.
Through the Panama Canal expansion program, large amounts of data are being collected by the Panama Canal Authority and the plan is to manage that data in HPD with a view to producing ENCs, Paper Charts and custom products such as Pilot Handbooks quickly and efficiently. CARIS will be on site with the Panama Canal Authority for four weeks of training, consultancy and system installation in the coming months.
Jaime Rodriguez, the manager of the Topography, Hydrography and Cartography Section at the Panama Canal will be presenting at CARIS 2012 in June. The presentation will feature the ENCs produced by the Panama Canal Authority covering the extension of the waterway and including the approaches from the Atlantic Ocean, Lake Gatun, Gaillard Cut, Lake Miraflores and the approach from the Pacific Ocean, as well as the existing locks of the Canal.