Attachment C to Arrangement A — Frequency Usage for Vessel Traffic Systems in the General Vancouver/Seattle Area

Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554

Effective Date: August 2, 1976

In Reply Refer To: 6350

Mr. M.F. Yalden
Deputy Minister of Communications
Department of Communications
300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0C8

Dear Mr. Yalden:

Please refer to your letter 4003-4-22 of May 31, 1976. You proposed an agreement regarding frequency usage for Vessel Traffic Systems in the general Vancouver/Seattle area.

We have considered your proposal and accept it effective today.

I am pleased that we have reached an agreement in this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Richard E. Wiley

[Note: While Channels 11, 12 and 74 are primarily for Canadian use and Channels 13 and 14 for U.S. use, technical details on the proposed use of the above channels should be forwarded to the U.S. in the same manner as heretofore for their information and comments.]

300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8

May 31, 1976


Mr. Richard E. Wiley
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554

Dear Mr. Wiley,

This refers to the USA/Canada bilateral meeting on maritime mobile communications that was held in Ottawa on February 18–19, 1975, and particularly to Working Paper 3 attached to the minutes of that meeting which was entitled, "Vessel Traffic Systems".

This paper, which relates to the coordination between our Administrations of the frequencies for ship movement included in Appendix 18 Mar 2 of the International Radio Regulations, was revised as a result of discussions between our officials on May 6, 1975 and April 12, 1976. A copy of the revised paper was sent to Mr. Gordon Hempton of your staff on April 21.

I am pleased to advise you that the frequency arrangement described in the paper has been approved in Canada and it is now sent to you for your consideration. If you agree, I would recommend that this document become effective on the date of your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by André Lapointe

M.F. Yalden

Vessel Traffic Systems

1. Present Operation

a) Canadian System

The Department of Transport has established a Vessel Traffic Management Centre in West Vancouver, B.C. The Centre is equipped with MF and VHF transmission and receiving facilities situated locally and at remote sites.

The area of operation covers the western coastal waters of Canada, east of Vancouver Island, including the Straits of Juan De Fuca and portions of Queen Charlotte Sound. For reporting purposes the Vancouver Traffic Zone involved is divided into three sectors:

Area of Operations
#1 Canadian waters from a line joining Carmanah light and Tatoosh Island light to a line joining Race Rocks light Ediz Hook light, Port Angeles Channel 11 156.55 MHz
#2 Canadian waters inside Vancouver Island commencing from a line joining Race Rocks light and Ediz Hook light to a line joining Triangle Island and Cape Caution Channel 11 156.55 MHz
#3 All those waters inside a line commencing at the Iona breakwater to Cower Point Channel 12 156.60 MHz

All vessels under the control of this system will transmit a message to the Vancouver Traffic Centre at designated calling-in points. A record of such reports will be maintained at the Centre and vessels reporting to the Centre will be advised of traffic reported. As all participating vessels will be on the same VHF frequency during their passage through each sector, masters or pilots will have additional information as to traffic patterns, the approximate location of each vessel and its intended movement.

b) U.S. System

The Puget Sound Vessel Traffic System is operated by the U.S. Coast Guard of the Department of Transportation. It is comprised of two major components, a traffic separation scheme, and a vessel movement reporting system.

The separation scheme consists of a network of one-way traffic lanes, separation zones in-between, and precautionary areas. The traffic lanes are each 1000 yards wide, and are separated by 500 yard wide separation zones.

The vessel movement reporting system is based upon a VHF communications network maintained continuously by the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Centre in Seattle, Washington. This centre will process information received from vessels in required and voluntary reports and will, in turn, disseminate navigational safety information to vessels participating in the system.

The Vessel Traffic System area consists of the navigable waters of the United States in the Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca that are east of the line of demarcation, and Rosario Strait, Bellingham Bay, Padilla Bay, Admiralty Inlet, Puget Sound, Possession Sound, Elliot Bay, Hood Canal, Commencement Bay, the Narrows west of Tacoma, Carr Inlet, Case Inlet, and navigable waters adjacent to these areas.

All vessels in this Vessel Traffic System Area are required to continuously monitor the designated frequency of 156.65 MHz (channel 13) and this frequency is used to transmit and receive vessel movement data and other marine safety information. The Vessel Traffic Centre will maintain a continuous guard on channel 13 and channel 16 (156.80 MHz), the distress, safety and calling frequency.

Four remote RCVR/XMTR sites are located around Puget Sound area for total coverage:

  1. Bahokus Peak .......... 1600 FT.
  2. Mount Constitution ... 2750 FT.
  3. Cold Mountain .......... 1900 FT.
  4. West Point .............. 100 FT.

At Port Angeles the U.S. Coast Guard occasionally uses channel 12 for the broadcast of weather and other marine information.

2. Future Plans of the Department of Transport

During the next five years, the Department of Transport plans to extend its Vessel Traffic Management System to the northern and southern coastal waters of British Columbia by the addition of two traffic zones and an additional sector to the Vancouver Traffic Zone.

  1. Tofino Traffic Zone

    This zone will cover the Canadian waters west of Vancouver Island (west of sector two of Vancouver Traffic Zone). By the use of channel 11 (156.55 MHz), each vessel will transmit a message giving certain basic navigation information at the critical points during her passage. As all participating vessels will be on the same VHF channel during passage, every vessel will have additional information as to traffic pattern, the approximate location of each vessel and its intended movement.

  2. Prince Rupert Traffic Zone

    This zone controls the Canadian waters north of Vancouver Island between a line joining Triangle Island with Cape Caution, and the Alaska/British Columbia border. (North of sector #3 of Vancouver Traffic Zone.) The operation of this zone and the assigned frequency is identical to the Tofino Traffic Zone.

  3. Fraser River Traffic Sector

    This sector covers the main arm of the Fraser River between Sandheads Light and Port Mann Bridge. The frequency proposed for use in this sector is channel 74 (156.725 MHz). The operating procedure is the same as for the Tofino Traffic Zone.

3. Availability of Frequencies for Vessel Traffic System

Marine traffic control is presently classified as Ship Movement Service in the I.T.U. Radio Regulations. Referring to Appendix 18 of I.T.U. VHF frequencies in the Maritime Mobile Service, the preferred channels for Ship Movement Service are: channels 11, 12, 13, 14, 68, 69, 71, 74, 79, 80. However, it is noted that channels 68 and 69 are already assigned to other marine services on the west coast of Canada, and only channels 11, 12, 13, 14 are available for VTS in the United States at the present time.

4. Arrangements

  1. The channels 11, 12, 74 and others if required, to be used for the Canadian Vessel Traffic System.
  2. Channels 13 and 14, and others if required, to be used for the Puget Sound Vessel Traffic System.
  3. The U.S. Coast Guard will discontinue the use of channel 12 at Port Angeles.
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