NLB monitors all its active land and sea-based Aids to Navigation (AtoN) from Monitor Centres in Edinburgh and Harwich.

The NLB estate has over 300 active Aids to Navigation. The correct functioning of all active Aids to Navigation – all those that transmit as part of their function – whether be it light, sound or radio signal, are monitored using a state of art monitoring system. All our lighthouses are fitted with modern and secure Remote Terminal Units (RTU) which communicate using faster 4G communication. This helps us to monitor data from AtoNs in real-time. Web-based monitoring system is regularly used by our monitoring officers, engineers, and technicians and this helps in the operation and maintenance of AtoNs.

NLB uses the AIS to monitor both fixed and floating AtoNs. AIS principal function is navigation and collision avoidance for IMO SOLAS vessels using short messages in the Maritime Mobile VHF Band to exchange pertinent information.

However, messages are exchanged ship to shore as well as ship to ship. This lets NLB monitor that buoys are on position and the on-board systems – RACON, Light, Battery and solar panels – are operating correctly.

At present NLB transmits AIS from 25 lighthouses, 20 buoys, 3 Virtual AIS and 1 reference station. 8 more locations have been selected to transmit AIS which will be completed by 2025.