The regional IC-ENC Office in Brazil became fully operational on 21 June 2016. It has been a year of learning, hard work and dedication to keep IC-ENC's validation high levels on time. The main reason for the existence of the regional office is to provide personalised support to the Latin-American Hydrographic Services in order to better serve their needs in terms of the production and validation of electronic nautical charts. And the office has performed this task with mastery because of the easy communication thanks to the language and time zone, helping the countries to improve the quality of the ENCs available in the market, which is increasing every day.
Latin American ENCs were validated here and as part of IC-ENC’s global operating model, countries like Russia, Italy, Denmark, England, Pakistan, the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, Spain, Portugal and many others had the ENCs validated by the Latin America Office.
The first cell validated was the New Cell BR501712. During this first year, more than 862 Updates, 382 New Editions and 173 New Cells were validated by Lieutenant Ana Mileze and Corporal Bruna Pinheiro.
The two validators participated in the IC-ENC International ENC Validation Training course in Panama (2015), a 2-week familiarisation training course at IC-ENC main office in Taunton in December 2015 and the main Taunton training course from February to April 2016. This course also included the NOAA validators from IC-ENC North America, Robert Ciepiela and Jenny Thacker. At the end of the training course all validators participated in the 1st IC-ENC Technical Conference in Taunton.
Corporal Bruna was also invited to assist in the translation during the 2nd training course in Panama (2016) and work at IC-ENC Stand at IHO Conference in Monaco (2017). The feedback by the attendees indicated that this was an excellent service and very valuable in helping make the course so useful.
More recently, Corporal Bruna also represented IC-ENC at its stand at the first IHO Assembly, explaining the IC-ENC services to representatives from many different Hydrographic Offices around the world.
Visitors to the Office
During this first year we received many visitors from different countries. Admiral Tim Lowe from UKHO visited the office before it became operational, followed by Mr. Chris Thorne and Mr. Lee Truscott form the UK in October 2016. In December 2016, chairman of IC-ENC, Captain Marc van der Donck, and the general manager Mr. James Harper visited the office, followed by the Japanese Hydrographic Service in March 2017. Other visitors were the members of SWAtCH and the observer countries Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay.
Commander Paulo Trino of the Brazilian Cartographical Merit Order visited the office in February 2017 and was very impressed and proud of the major achievement and the important contribution to the safety of navigation.
In April 2017, the Navy Commander from Sri Lanka Vice Admiral Ravindra Chandrasiri Wijegunaratne, Ambassador General Jagath Jayasuriya and Navy Lieutenant Korale Gamage Chatura M. Gamage were welcomed.
In summary, although it is a very busy office due to the high levels of validation required, it is clear that the establishment of the IC-ENC Latin America office is a success. This has been achieved through the great support by DHN, the dedication of the appointed staff, and the continued liaison and cooperation between the Latin America office, the UK headquarters, and the two other regional offices in the US and Australia.