New Positioning System Requirement for Transiting Neopanamax Vessels

Panama Flash! | Panama City – October 5th, 2022 – New Positioning System Requirement for Transiting Neopanamax Vessels

Effective October 1, 2023, all vessels with a beam of 109 feet or more transiting the Panama Canal will be required to have a fixed (non-portable) piloting unit with Real Time Kinematics (RTK) for submeter accuracy. This measure is expected to improve the efficiency of the waterway by eliminating the delays associated with the installation of portable piloting units (PPU-RTK).

The vessel will be responsible to procure, install, configure, and maintain the fixed piloting unit in proper condition. The unit shall be installed and powered to provide the required communication with the pilot´s tablet and the SafePilot’s software via wireless network, ensuring a stable and long-range connection in all conning positions during the transit through the Panama Canal. The specifications and installation guide for the fixed piloting unit are available through the following link:[1]piloting-unit/

Once this new requirement is effective, the compliance of the piloting unit will become part of the vessel´s arrival inspection. If requirements are not met, a portable piloting unit with Real Time Kinematics (PPU-RTK) will be temporarily installed in the vessel, at an additional cost. Please be reminded that the above-mentioned requirement is mandatory. Non-compliance may result in delay of transit and/or additional costs, as well as possible fines. For inquiries or additional information regarding this advisory, please write to:


Norton Lilly International (Panama) S.A.

Bldg. 3825  – Office 204

Howard – Panama-Pacifico

Panama, Rep. of Panama

Tel: (507) 304-4600

Main email:  (24 hours)


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