The International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) has designated 1 July of each year as World Marine Aids to Navigation Day. This first year, in conjunction with Puertos del Estado (the Spanish State-owned Port System) and the Port Authority of the Balearic Islands (APB), IALA has chosen Palma as the venue for the main events on this day.
The main events held in relation to this first edition of World Marine Aids to Navigation Day will take place in the capital city of the Balearic Islands, and will be divided into two sessions, one related to technical topics and the other dealing with institutional issues. During the conference, in which Francis Zachariae, secretary general of IALA, has confirmed his participation, debates and discussions will take place under the motto of “Successful Voyages, Sustainable Planet” revolving around the present and future challenges of marine aids to navigation for enhanced safety in navigation and maritime traffic within an increasingly digital setting that is constantly changing, while at the same time ensuring the sustainability of the marine environment.
Coinciding with World Marine Aids to Navigation Day, large numbers of lighthouses and some sirens will be simultaneously lit up and activated throughout Spain for half an hour, starting at twelve noon. The APB will also take part in this initiative with all 34 of the lighthouses it runs on the Balearic Islands.
Open day events
In parallel to this, the APB is organising an open day including guided tours of the permanent Maritime Signalling Exhibition at the Porto Pí Lighthouse in the Port of Palma, as well as informative workshops open to the general public. The lighthouse facilities at the Cap Gros and Cap Blanc lighthouses on Mallorca, and the Favàritx lighthouse on Menorca will also be open to the public on this day.
In addition, each of the 28 port authorities will carry out activities within the geographic space assigned to them in relation to marine aids to navigation with the aim of raising awareness about this service to society, such as open days at certain lighthouses, conferences, photography competitions and other initiatives. Anyone interested may check the websites of each port authority, as well as other media venues, to learn about how to participate in these activities.