The XXVII Meeting of the International Advisory Board on the Standards and Competency of Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers

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The International Advisory Board prepare for their busy week in Malaysia

The annual meeting of the Advisory Board recently took place at the Palm Resort Hotel, Johore Bahru, Malaysia, from 4 to 9 May 2004. The meeting was hosted by the Faculty of Geoinformation Science and Engineering University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and there was a full attendance with the following Board members present:

  • Mr. Svante Astermo (Chairman) (FIG) (Sweden)
  • Capt. Andy Armstrong (Vice-Chairman) (IHO) (USA)
  • Capt. Federico Bermejo (Secretary) (IHB) (Spain)
  • FIG Members
    • Mr. Gordon Johnston (UK)
    • Dr. Razali Mahmud (Malaysia)
    • Ms. Tiina Tuurnala (Finland)
    • Dr. David Wells (Canada)
  • IHO Members
    • Cdre. Jayaraman (India)
    • Dr. Luciano Surace (Italy)
    • Dr. Delf Egge (Germany)
  • ICA Members
    • Mr. Ron Furness (Australia)
    • Dr. Lysandros Tsoulos (Greece)

At the meeting Capt. Andy Armstrong (IHO) was elected to the Chair of the Advisory Board and Gordon Johnston (FIG) as the Vice Chair. The Secretary is Capt. Federico Bermejo (IHB).

Opening of the meeting

Professor Dr. Mohd Ibrahim Seeni Mohd, Dean of the Faculty of Geoinformation Sciences & Engineering (UTM), inaugurated the meeting, stressing the importance of the Board's mission.

Mr. Astermo highlighted the action items completed following the XXVI meeting, including the finalization of the course reviews and the forwarding of Recognition Certificates to the UK Royal Navy, EPSHOM (France), Dalian University (China) and the Portuguese Hydrographic Service.

He also recalled the promulgation of the new Standards of Competence for Nautical Cartographers, new Standards (M-8) which, after two years' work, had been successfully finalized.

Inter-sessional Activities

The Board Members and the Secretary reported on the activities related to training and education carried out between meetings. A summary of these activities is given here below:

IHB/IHO – Capacity Building and training-related activities were discussed during technical visits to the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Thailand and Brunei Darussalam. A project concerning training in multibeam is now under consideration. Numerous activities in the academic field concerning provision of courses and refinement of the Master's Degree at the Universities of New Hampshire and Southern Mississippi, and the National Hydrographic School of India.

FIG – the successful involvement of two FIG members (Dr. Wells and Mr. Johnston) in the first meeting of the IHO Capacity Building Committee representing Academia and Industry. Dr. Wells had been very active in running multi-beam courses in Seattle, Hong Kong SAR and Stavanger. Other courses were currently under negotiation.

ICA – Involvement in the Australasian Conference in Australia. Proposal from Greece to the National Research Committee in Greece to solve problems related to the automatic compilation of nautical charts and to produce a prototype worldwide.

Review of M-5 “Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors”

The Board examined a set of amendments and incorporated a number into the text of the 9th edition of the Standards, which will be M-5, 9th edition - 2004. The Board also wished to review and generate a more complete update of the current 9th version of the Standards and this process is now underway in order to complete the task during the inter-sessional period.

The Standards of Competence for Nautical Cartographers is to be held over until next year while the initial version is made available and adopted.

Recognition of Courses

The Board discussed several pending courses known to them and reviewed 5 courses submitted against the Hydrographic Standards M-5 and Nautical Cartography Standards, M-8.

Notification of the organisations submitting the Courses for recognition will take place over the next few weeks.


In weather that was relatively warm for the time of year the Board visited the excellent facilities at the University (UTM) and were fortunate to be invited onboard the Royal Malaysian Navy hydrographic vessel - KD Perantau. Dr. Razali Mahmud also hosted a very pleasant evening at his home where the many delightful fruits of Malaysia were experienced.

At the end of our busy meeting the Board had covered all the agenda items and had been made very welcome by a the generous hosts and their families.