CGNewsTip: America’s Ship-Tracking Challenge

The federally mandated national system is estimated to cost $200 million, but some mariners have already set one up from Maine to New York – for $50,000.

The US Coast Guard was mandated by Congress in 2002 to enhance the security of the nation’s ports and waterways through a Nationwide Automatic Information System (NAIS). The technology would give all homeland security officials an instant understanding of where every large ship is located in American waters. But this system isn’t expected to be completed until 2014, in part, because the cost is estimated at more than $200 million.

With no government AIS capability in Newport, or in most of the rest of the country, Costabile is using a private, nonprofit version. It was set up in less than six months for $50,000 and covers the coast from Maine to New York.

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