The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced today that it will host the 2009 International Conference on Marine Simulation and Ship Maneuverability (MARSIM) in Panama City, Panama August 17-20. Anticipated topics of discussion include the latest developments in marine simulation and ship-handling and the Panama Canal Expansion Program’s new set of locks project. Additionally, the conference will provide a venue for global shipping experts to come together to discuss best practices and technological innovations in the industry.

“The ACP has used simulation technology since the 1980s as a critical component to improve navigation safety and efficiency and to enhance service to our customers,” said ACP Captain Rogelio Altafulla. “We are proud to host MARSIM ’09, a platform for sharing the newest technology and research in the marine simulation field.”

MARSIM ’09 will feature research from world-renowned maritime institutions and highlight the development of cutting-edge procedures to improve maritime safety. MARSIM’s anticipated discussion on maneuvering criteria for Post-Panamax vessels is especially timely, as the ACP recently awarded Grupo Unidos por el Canal the contract to design and build the waterway’s new set of locks. Once complete, the expanded Canal will create a new lane of traffic and allow the transit of larger vessels.

Simulators to be showcased at the conference improve ship maneuvering techniques and help develop procedures to evaluate and enhance efficient ship operations. By exposing attendees to the latest in marine simulation technology and research, the ACP aims to advance the shipping industry’s navigational training and educational methods. As the new locks design and built contract has been awarded; SIDMAR Center has initiated a unique pilot/tug master training program that will enhance the competence of these Canal professionals that will handle and assist large container vessels transiting the existing and expanded Canal.