Future of Navigation
Using modern technology to support a safer, more efficient, more secure and environmentally sound Marine Transportation System


The CMTS Future of Navigation IAT facilitates the modernization and provision of navigation services, including the coordinated and integrated collection, processing, and dissemination of navigation data and information to provide services to stakeholders, eliminate duplication, and enhance the safety, reliability, and efficiency of our waterways and ports

The work of this IAT is focused on implementation of the CMTS' U.S. Navigation Information Strategic Action Plan: 2021-2026 which outlines the high-level strategy for U.S. Federal agencies to deliver navigation information to mariners in support of a safer and more secure marine transportation system (MTS), by advancing the evolution and implementation of the e-Navigation concept. e-Navigation is a critical component of the Marine Transportation System (MTS) infrastructure and is essential to enhancing MTS safety, efficiency, reliability, security, and environmental soundness. The scope of the Future of Navigation IAT is broader than e-Navigation and may address other navigation services, such as aids to navigation, navigation safety regulations, enhanced Marine Safety Information services (eMSI), seamless data exchange, decision-focused information, and improved connectivity.


The Federal effort in facilitating the safe and efficient operations of these waters must be an accelerant, rather than a brake, on this economic engine. To this end, the "Future of Navigation" IAT leverages technology, initiates management improvements, redefines levels of service, develops data-driven analysis, and identifies and recommends regulatory changes to improve safety and efficiency on America's waterways.

Integrated Action Team Leads

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Coast Guard

Participating Agencies

  • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Maritime Administration (Department of Transportation)
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • National Transportation Safety Board
  • Any agency that provides or has an interest in navigation services

Activity and Milestones

  • October 2022: The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and the U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System's (CMTS) Future of Navigation Integrated Action Team (IAT), delivered a harmonized geospatial dataset of national waterways to Federal agency members of the CMTS. 10.14.2022 CMTS Waterway Harmonization Release_.pdf
  • Completed: CMTS Future of Navigation IAT Releases U.S. Navigation Information Strategic Action Plan: 2021-2026 (March 2021).
  • Completed: The Future of Navigation IAT hosted the Navigation Data Interoperability Roundtable that brought together Federal Chief Information Officers, Chief Data Officers and others to discuss the issues of data sharing and across agencies was held in November 2020.
  • May 2020: NOAA initiates "Precision Navigation" Program to seamlessly integrate high-resolution bathymetry, high accuracy positioning and shoreline data with forecast data—such as water levels, currents, salinity, temperature, waves, and weather forecasts. Learn more
  • April 2015: The Future of Navigation IAT completed an updated Work Plan with specific action items to further progress under broad lines of effort, including Interagency Coordination and Outreach, Navigation Data Harmonization, Navigation Information Dissemination, and Simplified Information Reporting and Sharing.
  • March 2015: The Enhanced Marine Safety Information (eMSI) Task Team of the CMTS Future of Navigation IAT provided a "proof of concept" demonstration of an integrated eMSI Bulletin to the CMTS Coordinating Board. This project makes available authoritative data sets from various Federal agencies to provide updated eMSI within a user-designated area.
  • Fall 2014: The USCG, NOAA, and USACE expanded transmission of navigation information via AIS, including transmitting approximately 200 "e-AtoN" to enhance the existing physical aids to navigation constellation; transmitting lock status, weather and hydrologic information on the inland waterways; and standardizing the means to transmit NOAA PORTS® data via NOAA, USCG, and USACE AIS infrastructure.
  • June 2014: The CMTS Coordinating Board adopted the International Hydrographic Organization's S-100 Universal Hydrographic Data Model as its preferred data framework for the dissemination and exchange of digital marine safety information and related MTS data collection requirements.
  • April-June 2014: Future of Navigation IAT participating agencies conducted 12 public listening sessions around the country to provide information on Federal e-Navigation efforts and to gather input from stakeholders on their needs and priorities, given planned developments.
  • March 21, 2014: Recognizing that the scope of issues relating to navigation services was broader than that captured in the term "e-Navigation," the CMTS Coordinating Board approved a change in the name of the integrated action team from the "e Navigation IAT" to the "Future of Navigation IAT."
  • April 4, 2013: The e-Navigation IAT reported the results from the Online Dialogue on the Future of e-Navigation in the United States to the CMTS Coordinating Board and published the proceedings on the CMTS website. The information collected from this dialogue provided CMTS with input from partners and stakeholders regarding the future direction of e-Navigation in the United States. The IAT reviewed the comments and presented the results of this outreach effort to the CMTS Coordinating Board. The results from this Online Dialog continue to be used to inform the CMTS Future of Navigation IAT's work plan.
  • View the e-Nav IAT Online Dialog Report
  • View the e-Nav IAT e-Nav Online Dialog Presentation
  • View the e-Nav Online Dialog Ideas and Comments
  • January 14–March 15, 2013: The e-Navigation IAT conducted a two-month Online Dialog on the Future of e-Navigation in the United States.
  • June 12, 2012: The e-Navigation IAT Implementation Plan and Work Plan were approved by the CMTS Coordinating Board.
  • March 13, 2012: The e-Navigation IAT and Terms of Reference were approved by the CMTS Coordinating Board.
  • February 28, 2012: The final e-Navigation Strategic Action Plan was published.
  • July 13, 2011: The e-Navigation Strategic Action Plan was approved by the CMTS Coordinating Board.


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