World Marine Aids to Navigation Day was celebrated on July 01st, 2022 in Burgas, Bulgaria, hosted by Bulgarian Ports Infrastructure Company. CESMA was represented by capt. Dimitar Dimitrov, PHD, FNI, President of CESMA during the conference and acommpaning events.

World Marine Aids to Navigation Day (WAtoN Day) is celebrated every year on the 1st of July and is organized by International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) and hosted by member states of IALA. The principal objective is to promote greater awareness of IALA and its work by bringing to the attention of the wider public the role of Marine Aids to Navigation and the significance of IALA’s technical work in enhancing the safety of navigation worldwide. In 2022 the event took place in Burgas after two years of on line celebration due to COVID-19 pandemic. The event began with a nice presentation of youg Bulgarian girl reading a fairy story about a sailor saved by the Burgas lighthouse opened for operation in 1899.

The opening speeches were delivered by capt. Milen Todorov, Head of Bulgarian Vessel Traffic Management and Infornation Services, Mr Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), Comander Vanio Musinski Head of department in the Bulgarian Navy and capt. Dimitar Dimitrov, President of CESMA and IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador for Bulgaria.

The conference, which was part of the prestigious event, gathered together marine experts from the UK, Belgium, Spain, France, Iceland, Republic of Korea and began with the presentation of Capt. Milen Todorov, Director of Vessel Traffic Services Authority, BPI Co.: “Management, Information Services and Provision of Navigational Safety in the Maritime Spaces and Ports of Bulgaria – Systems, Innovation and Future”. The presentation is available in the web page of BPIC <>. Detailed information for the Aids to navigation and VTS Service in Bulgarian coastline was presented together with the latest developmnets of the information services connected with safety of navigation. The below slides explain the role of VTS in favor of shipmasters sailing in Bulgarian coastal waters.

In the new trends artificial inteligence is used to assist navigators in congested areas and to provide them with information and suggestions in solving the problems of passage planning and execution.

Lt Cdr Nikolay Lyaskovski, Assistant Director of Bulgarian Navy Hydrographic Service, presented “Opportunities for modernization of the Aids to Navigation at the Bulgarian Navy Hydrographic Service”. As per national law the Bulgarian Navy is responcible for maintaining aids to navigation and admiralty charts in Bulgarian waters.

The conference continued with presentations of Mr Minsu Jeon, Technical Operation Manager (IALA), on IALA activities and plans and Mr Omar Eriksson, Dean of the World-wide Academy and Deputy Secretary General (IALA), on the activities of the World-wide Academy. The main goal of IALA is to establish and coordinate world standard for aids to navigation and the objective of the Academy is to develop and promote the use of the IALA model training courses.

The event included an official ceremony for the awarding of the Lighthouse of the Year award. It was awarded to the Homigot Lighthouse in Pohang, with a total height of 26,4 meters, making it the tallest lighthouse in the Republic of Korea.

The participants of the conference saw the very nice exhibition “Lighthouses and other means of navigation support on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast” in the lobby of the congress center, then they were taken to Burgas VTS tower where they were acquainted with newest technologies used to observe, control and manage the traffic. The lunch was in the small island St. Anastasia in the bay of Burgas where all attendees were able to get acquainted with the exciting history of the island and to visit the local lighthouse.