February 12, 2106 - The Finnish Transport Agency's customer and stakeholder survey on Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) 2015 was a follow-up to the survey administered in 2012. The survey took place in August-September 2015. Information about the survey was sent by e-mail and posted on the Finnish Transport Agency's website. The responses were handled anonymously.
The total number of survey respondents was 79, which was 14 more than in 2012. In general, the numerical response scores were slightly higher than last time. The free-text fields included several good comments, which will help gradually improve the activities.
A total of 65 respondents answered the VTS section of the survey. On the basis of this feedback, it was decided to make vessel traffic services more homogeneous by starting to develop the training provided in the VTS centres at the beginning of 2016. It is also expected to receive feedback on the provision of homogeneous services from the current trial of using English as the primary VTS language. The in-house training will from now on emphasize a more customer-oriented approach to providing vessel traffic services.
The reliability of the information shared by VTS was rated higher than last time. Since the information shared by VTS was still rated as unreliable in a few responses, it was decided to take measures to improve the possibilities of anticipating traffic situations, and utilizing and sharing this information with vessels. Comments on conflicting information that vessels have received from different sources will be taken up for discussion on the cooperative meetings between VTS and Finnpilot.
A total of 37 respondents answered the GOFREP section of the survey. Overall, the respondents were satisfied with the GOFREP, although they wished that the services would focus more on intervention in traffic situations than on reporting. It also became clear that the GOFREP services provided in the various GOFREP areas are not very homogeneous.
Thirty-eight respondents answered that they use the services of Turku Radio, although most of them only rarely listen to Turku Radio's broadcasts. Overall, Turku Radio was given positive feedback, indicating that there is no need for improvement actions. Some of the comments in the feedback were also forwarded to other units at the Finnish Transport Agency for information purposes and possible corrective measures.
In December 2015, a decision on the establishment of new VTS areas entered into force. The role of the VTS in Western Finland was strengthened, as the VTS supervision areas were extended to cover the whole coast. At the same time, the boundary between West Coast VTS and Bothnia VTS was moved to Vaasa, and some reporting points were changed. Information about these changes was disseminated at the end of 2015.
The customer and stakeholder survey is part of the Vessel Traffic Services quality management system and the next survey will be carried out in 2018. Before that, in spring 2016 and autumn 2017, short surveys on the trial of using English as the primary VTS language will be conducted.