Ferry Safety and Technology Conference returns to New York

Ferry Safety and Technology Conference returns to New York
The student design competition sees teams compete to design a ferry to specification (Image: WFSA)

The annual Ferry Safety and Technology Conference, organised by the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association (WFSA), will return to New York for its sixth edition on 22-24 April 2020. Sessions will cover the burgeoning local ferry market and growth in developing countries in Asia and Africa.

“In such a tremendous growth environment there are plenty of opportunities in New York and in many parts of the developing world,” said Roberta Weisbrod, executive director of WFSA. “In the two years since NYC Ferry started, ridership was up nearly 40% from what was originally projected. In 2020 and 2021, NYC Ferry service will expand with new routes to Staten Island, Coney Island, the West Side of Manhattan and the East Bronx, with growth expanding from the existing 21 landings and 28 vessels. In the developing world, the World Bank has inland waterway projects in excess of US$1.5 billion for Indonesia, Bangladesh, Assam India, and the Lakes region of Africa.”

One of the key themes of the conference will be data management and analysis, with several sessions highlighting recent advances in data management and analysis. Topics will include a discussion of behaviour-based maritime insurance by the CEO of digital technology provider Concirrus and the use of data in the low-cost weather monitoring advances being made in New York Harbor.

Technological developments in the training of crew will also be covered at the conference, with a session on the use of virtual reality as a teaching tool. A representative from the Royal Navy Lifesaving Institute will discuss innovations in personal flotation devices, while a speaker from the Cape May-Lewes ferry will present on their use of a maritime slide evacuation system for the first time in the US.

The conference will also feature presentations by the awardees in the annual student design competition. The contest challenged participants to design a ro-pax ferry capable of holding 200 passengers with lane capacity for trucks, which would provide service across the Winum-Gulf region of Lake Victoria in Kenya. Twenty-one teams for universities across the world have registered for the competition.

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Alex Smith
By Alex Smith
23 January 2020

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