Helsinki VTS Master's Guide

1 VTS Area

1.1   Helsinki VTS sector 1
The VTS Area covers the area off Helsinki including the merchant shipping lanes in the area between Kytö lighthouse, Helsinki caisson and Kalkkiranta. The sector also covers the area administered by the Port of Helsinki.
Coordinates of the sector’s corner points:
60º 08.7’ N, 24º 43.5’ E
59º 55.5’ N, 24º 43.5’ E
59º 58.2’ N, 25º 20.0’ E
60º 10.3’ N, 25º 20.0’ E
60º 15.5’ N, 25º 25.0’ E

Open Helsinki VTS Master's Guide

1.2 Helsinki VTS sector 2
The VTS Area covers the areas around Porkkala and Emäsalo including the merchant shipping lanes, in the west the area between Jussarö and Kytö and in the east the area between Kalkkiranta and Emäsalo, with the exception of the areas administered by the ports. The sector also covers the areas administered by the Port of Sköldvik and the Port of Tolkkinen.
Coordinates of the sector’s corner points:
Western sector 2 (Porkkala)
59º 52.1’ N, 23º 33.0’ E
59º 42.0’ N, 23º 33.0’ E
59º 55.5’ N, 24º 43.5’ E
60º 08.7’ N, 24º 43.5’ E

Eastern sector 2 (Emäsalo)
60º 15.5’ N, 25º 25.0’ E
60º 10.3’ N, 25º 20.0’ E59º
58.2’ N, 25º 20.0’ E
59º 59.5’ N, 25º 44.5’ E
60º 12.5’ N, 25º 41.2’ E

The services provided by the VTS centres are described in more detail in the general description of the VTS operations. LINKKI YLEISOSIOON
 

2    Reporting procedures
The working channel of Helsinki VTS sector 1 is VHF 71.
The working channel of Helsinki VTS sector 2 is VHF 9.
Reports should include the following information:

  • Name of the vessel
  • Name of reporting point
  • Destination
  • Intended route. If an alternative route is selected, this must be reported

Required reports

  • upon entry into the VTS Area
  • before anchoring
  • before leaving an anchorage
  • after berthing
  • before leaving port
  • Before departure from Port of Helsinki, vessels shall submit a departure report in order to be given permission to depart.
    • In Helsinki South Harbour and West Harbour, vessels must submit a departure report when they are ready to depart in 5 minutes.
    • When leaving Vuosaari Harbour, the permission to depart is in force for 15 minutes, during which time the vessel must get underway. The vessel is required to give a report when underway.
  • at the reporting points in the area:
    • Vessels must report 15 mins before arriving at the Kustaanmiekka or Särkänsalmi straits
    • Northbound vessels must report when passing Itätoukki 
    • Eastbound vessels must report 15 mins before passing Kuiva Hevonen in the coastal fairway
    • 15 mins before entering Barösund
  • Preliminary notice of departure for vessels departing from Port of Helsinki:

All vessels, except those in liner traffic sailing according to a published timetable, must give a preliminary notice of departure after berthing. Any changes to the time of departure indicated in the notice of departure or in the published liner traffic timetable must be reported to VTS as soon as possible. If a vessel departs later than the time reported in the notice of departure, the vessel must immediately report also this to the VTS. 

VTS uses the data in the notice of departure for advance planning of the use of the fairway and the icebreaking in the harbour area. The procedure of giving a notice of departure does not apply to piloted vessels.

  • Commuter ferries must report only in restricted visibility

2.1   Procedures in the Vuosaari channel
The organization of vessel traffic departing from Vuosaari Harbour includes a procedure regarding permission to depart. When a vessel that is ready to leave port submits a departure report, the VTS grants or denies permission to depart from the port depending on the traffic situation. A granted permission to depart is in force for 15 minutes. VTS does not grant permission to depart if there is a vessel in the channel entering the harbour, and that vessel has passed  Itätoukki, reported 15 minutes to Kuiva  Hevonen  or  entered  the  area  from  the  east  from  another  sector.  If the vessel is not ready to depart within 15 minutes and there are other vessels waiting for their turn to enter the area where meeting and overtaking is prohibited, the vessel misses its turn to depart. In that case the vessel must give a new departure report to the VTS before being granted permission to depart. The procedure regarding permission to depart also concerns vessels moving from one berth to another in the harbour area.  

Vessels reporting at Itätoukki, entering the sector 1 area from the east or reporting 15 minutes prior to passing Kuiva Hevonen, will be given information by the VTS about meeting traffic and other information relevant to the safe passage of the ship. 

During strong winds (mean wind 13 m/s or more) the VTS authority recommends that vessels in Vuosaari channel only meet south of Östra Rödhällen.  The  VTS  does  not organize  the  traffic  of  meeting  vessels  outside  the  area where meeting and overtaking is prohibited, but vessels are requested to agree among themselves on how to meet safely. 

When the use of the channel is restricted due to the wind situation and vessels have to wait for entrance into the channel, they have the option to reduce speed in order to ensure a safe meeting south of Östra Rödhällen. When organizing the traffic, the VTS makes sure that the vessel does not lose its turn to enter the channel because of its reduced speed, by taking into account the original speed at which the vessel would have arrived at Itätoukki.

2.2 Procedures in the approach channel to Helsinki West Harbour
VTS organizes inbound and outbound vessels to the West Harbour according to the schedules submitted by the vessels in advance.

A vessel leaving the West Harbour in Helsinki must submit a departure report in order to be granted permission to depart by the VTS. The departure report shall be submitted when the vessel is ready to depart within 5 minutes. During strong winds (maximum wind speed 15 m/s) the vessel will not be granted permission to depart if another vessel, with a length over 215 m, is already in or about to enter the maneuvering basin.

Inbound vessels are well in advance informed about the order in which to enter the channel. The order is based on the agreed berthing times obtained by the Port of Helsinki.                         

3  Areas where meeting and overtaking is prohibited
Meeting and overtaking is permanently prohibited in the following areas covered by  Helsinki VTS sector 1:

  1. in Särkänsalmi strait between latitudes 60º 08.8´N 60º 09.1´N in the 7.9 m channel
  2. in the Kustaanmiekka strait between latitudes 60º 08.1´N 60º 08.6´N
  3. in the 9.6m channel in the northern part of the Vuosaari channel, between latitudes 60º11.1’N and 60º12.5’N

4  Speed limits
In all channel sections leading to a Helsinki port north of the latitude 60°06.0 N with Itäkari as the eastern limit: 30 km/h
In the harbour basins in the Port of Helsinki and around Klippan: 10 km/h
In the Vuosaari channel a speed limit of 30 km/h is in force between Östra Rödhällan and Krokholmshället.
A speed limit of 17 km/h is in force between Krokholmshället and Vuosaari Harbour as well as in the Vuosaari Harbour area.
During the winter season (1 November - 31 March) a speed limit of 24/h will be in force in the Vuosaari channel between Krokholmshället and Vuosaari Harbour.

5 Contact information
Gulf of Finland Vessel Traffic Centre
Vilhonvuorenkatu 2-4
00500 Helsinki
Telephone:         +358 20 448 5391
e-mail:               supervisors.hki@fta.fi
VHF:                  Helsinki VTS, sector 1 (Helsinki) ch.71
                          Helsinki VTS, sector 2 (Emäsalo, Porkkala) ch. 9