PHUKET: A 15-million-baht system that will track the location of the about 3,000 boats visiting Phuket each year finally has wind in its sails.
“Right now, we can use our Automatic Identification System (AIS) to track boats on the north, west and south sides of the island. We are trying to get the budget to cover the east side too," said Pracha Asawateera, Phuket branch manager of the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA).
SIPA, part of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, is in the process of extending the range of the system to include the Similan Islands and Phi Phi Island by November.
“We can track boats using radar, but AIS gives us more detailed information about a vessel's location. This is important for safety, and will be useful in emergency cases,” he added.
The installation of the system was one of the requirements set last year by Vice Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada before he would allow the one-stop yacht arrival center in Chalong to open (story here
“At first, not all boats will be required to log into the system. However, we are pushing for it to be mandatory for all boats operating within the tourism industry to register," Mr Pracha said.