Aid to navigation application help

Find information and help for completing the aid to navigation application form.

The questions and terminology used in the form are explained below.

General Information

Pursuant to section 200(7) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 - means the name of the applicant (the individual).

on behalf of - means the Name of Organisation/ Owner that wishes to install, alter or remove the Aid to Navigation.

Address/Phone/email - means the postal address, telephone number and email address of the applicant.

Owner of Proposed Aid to Navigation - means the actual owner, company, trust etc.

Work Description

Brief description -  means describe the intent such as to "install a new Aid to Navigation" "relocate to new position" etc.

Reason for application - means explain the reason behind the intent such as "improve safety", "move channel" etc.

Proposed position (WGS84 Datum) The position requires to be entered in WSG84 Format in degrees and minutes and decimal minutes to 3 decimal places:

Latitude _ _ ° _ _´ . _ _ _ South - Longitude _ _ _ ° _ _´ . _ _ _ East/West
eg 39° 18.215 South - 177° 52.025 East.

Permanent or temporary
Permanent means - an aid to navigation that will be permanently installed.

Temporary - an aid to navigation than will only be installed for a period of time and then removed. 

Light List Number
Light list or K numbers are issued by Land Information NZ. For alterations to existing Aids to Navigation (AtoNs) refer to the light list in the NZ Nautical Almanac, for new AtoNs leave this section blank and the appropriate number will be allocated.

Aid to Navigation Name
Name as listed in the NZ Nautical Almanac for existing AtoN. For new AtoN enter the proposed name, typically named after local features.

Details of Lights

Light Type

  • Lateral - Indicates the Port or Starboard side of route to be followed - Red for Port & Green for Starboard - Light Character described as any other than composite group flashing.
  • Cardinal - Indicates the deepest water in that area is on the named side of the mark, safe side on which to pass danger - White - Light Character - North Cardinal Very Quick (VQ) or Quick (Q) - East Cardinal VQ(3) every 5s or Q(3) every 10s - South Cardinal VQ(6) + long flash every 10s or Q(6) + long flash every 15s - West Cardinal VQ(9) every 10s or Q(9) every 15s.
  • Lead - A leading line is an AtoN system that comprises two or more separate structures that are aligned when viewed from the centre line or deepest route along a straight section of channel.
  • Sector - Is an AtoN that displays different colours and or rhythms over designated arcs. Use for marking hazards or preferred channels.
  • Transit - Used for position fixing or identifying turning points.
  • Isolated danger - Locates a danger that has navigable water all round it - White - Light Character Group Flashing (2).
  • Safe water - Indicates that there is navigable water all round the mark - White - Light Character, Isophase, occulting, one flash every 10s or Morse – ●
  • Special Mark - Indicates a special area or feature marked on a chart such as cables, military exercise zones, recreation zones, etc - Yellow - Light character, any other than those used for cardinal, Isolated danger and safe water.


  • White - Typically used for Cardinal, Lead, Transit, Isolated Danger and Safe Water.
  • White Sectored -  Lead or transit light with coloured sectors.
  • Green - Typically used for Starboard Lateral marks and Lead lights.
  • Red - Typically used for Port Lateral marks and Lead lights.
  • Yellow - Typically used for Special Marks.
  • Blue - Typically used for Lead lights in built up areas with backlighting issues.
  • Blue/Yellow - Used for marking wrecks.

Nominal Range (Nm)Is the maximum distance at which the light can be seen by a normal observer at night, in conditions when the meteorological visibility is 10 sea miles. Manufacturer’s information for light intensity should be based on 0.74 transmission levels.

Factors that determine the range of a light is its elevation above sea level and the intensity of the light.

Nominal Range in Nautical Miles eg 10 Nm. Nominal Range of a sectored  light may very with colour eg White 8Nm, Red 6 Nm.

Character - Flash Character of the Light, Examples:

  1. Fixed - Continuous Light - F W (F refers to Fixed, W refers to colour, white Light).
  2. Occulting - Light on longer than off - Oc W 15s (With light total on off period 15s).
  3. Isophase - On and off periods the same - Iso G 4s (Green light on 2s off 2s).
  4. Flashing - On period is shorter than off - Fl WR 10s ( White and red flashing light).
  5. Group - More than one flash - Fl (2) W 10s (white light flashing 2 times in 10s).
  6. Quick - 50 to 80 flashes per minute - Q R 1s (Quick Flashing  Red light).
  7. Other Characters for lights are listed in the NZ Nautical Almanac or IALA document E-110.     

Character Sequence -  Flash Sequence or on and off period

  1. Fixed  - FW - Fixed.
  2. Occulting - Oc W 15s - fl 9, ec 6.
  3. Isophase - Iso G 4s - fl 2, ec 2.
  4. Flashing  - Fl WR 10s - fl 1, ec 9.
  5. Group  - Fl (2) W 10s - fl 0.5, ec 1.5, fl 0.5, ec 7.5.
  6. Quick  - Q R 1s - fl  0.4, ec 0.6.

fl refers to flash length or on time - ec refers to eclipse or off period.

Obscured Arcs - Refers to any part of the lights arc that maybe obscured by land or structures.

Obscured 350° - 005° (15° )

Directions are given by an observer from seaward. All bearings refer to the true compass and are measured clockwise from 000° to 359° .

Sectored Arcs -  List various sectors associated with the light.

White 18.0° - 104.0° (86.0° )
Red 104.0° - 221.5° (117.5° )

White 221.5° - 18.0° (156.5° )

Directions are given by an observer from seaward. All bearings refer to the true compass and are measured clockwise from 000° to 359° .

Elevation (meters) - Is the vertical distance between the focal plane of the light and Mean High Water Springs (MHWS).

Period of operation

  • Night - A light that operates at night only.
  • Night and Day - A light that operates during the night and day.
  • On Demand - A light that operates only when required by the mariner.

Details of Structure

Top-mark  - Description of top mark if fitted eg Can, Cone, two spheres, ▲, ■ etc.

Description - Structure description eg White Metal Tower, Green Wooden Pile, Green Plastic Spar Buoy etc.

Colour -  in this case means the colour of structure eg white, white with red bands.   

Elevation (metres) - The vertical distance from ground or MHWS to the top of the structure.

Details of RACON / AIS

Racon Character -  Racon radar identification character.

Example:Morse A ● –Morse D – ● ●

Racon Type

  • X-S Frequency Agile - Responds on the frequency on which they are interrogated, operates in both X and S bands.
  • X Band - Operates in the 9300 to 9500 MHz frequency.
  • S Band - Operates in the 2900 to 3100 MHz frequency.      

Racon Range (Nm) - Transponder range in Nautical Miles.

AIS - Type

  • Type 1 - Transmit only station operating in Fixed Access Time Division Multiple. 

    Access Mode (FATDMA), also known as a class B device.
  • Type 2 - Similar to type 1 but has an additional receiver that allows station to be remotely configured and controlled by an AIS VHF Data Link (VDL), also known as a class B device.
  • Type 3 - Contains two AIS receiving processes that allow it to fully participate on the AIS VDL. This means that in addition to FATDMA, type 3 can function in Radom Access Time Division Multiple Access Mode (RATDMA), also known as a class A device.
  • Synthetic - Physical AtoN exists but message 21 is broadcast from a nearby base station or AtoN rather than an AIS transmitter on site.
  • Virtual - No physical AtoN exists, message 21 is broadcast from a nearby base station or AtoN.

AIS description is from the IALA Recommendation A-126.

MMSI Number - Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number. Defined by ITU-R M.585-4.

MMSI numbers are issued by the Ministry of Economic Development (0508) 776- 463.

995121XXX - Four digit identifier for real and synthetic aids starts with 1.
995126XXX - Four digit identifier for virtual  aids starts with 6.

FATDMA Slot Allocated - Applies to Type 1 and Type2 devices, slots for these devices are programmed into the units and allocated by the Ministry of Economic Development.

The time slot will be a number between 0-2249.

AIS Message 21 - ITU-R M.1371 defines the aid to navigation report message 21.

The message enables providers to broadcast information on the:

  1. Type of AtoN.
  2. Name of AtoN.
  3. Position of AtoN.
  4. Position accuracy indicator.
  5. Type of fixing device.
  6. Position status.
  7. Real or virtual identification.
  8. Dimensions of AtoN  .
  9. Status of AtoN.

Refer manufacturer’s information.

List other Messages - List any other messages that will be broadcast from the AIS AtoN. In addition to message 21, an AIS AtoN may also transmit Message 6, 8, 12, 14, 25 and other appropriate messages.

Refer manufacturer’s information.

AIS Elevation (metres) -   Is the vertical distance between the aerial and Mean High Water Springs (MHWS).

AIS Range (Nm) - Transponder range in Nautical Miles.

Other Details

List other details -  List any other details in this sections, such as fog signal etc.

Estimated date for commencement of work - Proposed start date for notice to mariners.

Estimated date for completion of work - Proposed completion date for notice to mariners.