Aids to Navigation


FunctionsThe Aids to Navigation and Mooring Unit (ANMU) of the Marine Department is responsible for providing and maintaining Aids to Navigation (AtoN) in Hong Kong waters according to the guidelines of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) to ensure the safe and smooth movement of vessels to and from our port.


MaintenanceANMU maintains over 570 aids of which about 130 are lighted buoys, 320 are beacons and 120 are pier lights. There are two launches and one light good vehicle in the unit for using by the maintenance teams. In addition, Government Flying Services would provide helicopter service for conveying the maintenance teams to the remote sites to maintain the AtoN, such as at Waglan Island, Black Point and Ping Chau.


EvolutionIn the past, acetylene had been adopted as fuel for the gas-operated lantern which was ignited by a pilot flame. Then electric-operated lantern was applied with batteries and lamp bulbs. With the automation of the Lighthouses, there is no need for personnel to be stationed and on watch at the Lighthouses. Nowadays, over 90% of lanterns are operated with renewable energy “solar energy”. The existing lanterns with battery and the lamp are being replaced by more energy-saving LED lanterns.

Future Development

With the advancement of technology and availability of new products in the market, the existing lanterns are being replaced gradually by more energy-saving LED lanterns for reducing carbon emission; to apply Integrated Power Supply Lantern so as to shorten the on-site maintenance time; and to install Global Positioning System on AtoN in collaboration with telecommunication network for tracking and monitoring of the real-time status of the navigation lights.