During IALA Course level 2 with certification, organized by the Chilean Navy, Hidrovía training academy and MSM, use of virtual AIS Aton emerged on numerous occasions.
As Mr. Omar Fritz Eriksson ( Deputy Secretary-General & Dean of World-Wide Academy) summed up, the position of IALA and IMO is that Virtual signals are useful for temporary situations (wrecks, stranding,..) or situations in which is impossible to imply physical aids to navigations. The use of them should not replace physical signals. Although generate virtual signals instead of physical aids may be economically may be attractive, we cannot forget that vessels (users of waterways) must have the necessary equipment to visualize those virtual signals and there is also the probability of transmission troubles ( signals cuts, variation of position..) that affect to the operability and efficiency of those virtual signals. So, virtual signals must consider only for unforeseen temporary situations, locations in which we cannot allow to install a physical Aton, where the navigation conditions are changing every day or every week, using them as support from real signals. It is very important to highlight that fact that is not recommended the use of virtual signals without real Aton support in locations like port entry with high traffic volume.
To get more information, kindly refer IALA 0-143 Recommendation and IALA G1081 Guideline provision of virtual AtoN.