Representing the worldwide community participating, or interested, in any aspect of the science and practice of navigation in all environments.

Its current members are: the Arab Institute of Navigation, the Australian Institute of Navigation, the Austrian Forum of Navigation, the China Institute of Navigation, the Czech Republic Institute of Navigation, the DPRK Institute of Navigation, the French Institute of Navigation, the German Institute of Navigation, the Institute of Navigation (US), the Japanese Institute of Navigation, the Korean Institute of Navigation and Port Research, the Netherlands Institute of Navigation, the Nordic Institute of Navigation, the Polish Navigation Forum, the Royal Institute of Navigation (UK), the Russian Public Institute of Navigation and the Swiss Institute of Navigation.  The Association is always seeking new member organizations.

In 1976, IAIN was granted consultative status to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).  Since then IAIN has submitted on its own and with other members many proposals and information papers to IMO on such matters as traffic separation, collision regulations, accuracy standards for navigation, matters affecting the use of GNSS, e-navigation and autonomous vessels

In 1985, IAIN was given consultative status to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).  Recommendations on the use of a worldwide geodetic system were made by IAIN and adopted by the ICAO Future Air Navigation System (FANS) Committee.

IAIN is also represented at the International Hydrographic Organization and the UN International Committee on GNSS.

The Association website can be found at: The site includes, amongst other things: contact details and links to all the member organizations, current news, navigation related articles and a list of forthcoming conferences and symposia.

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Navigation Institutes were first formed in the United Kingdom and the United States in the late 1940s. Other national institutes followed and it was not long before they started working together to address the major navigation issues of the day. A series of conferences sponsored by the British, French and German institutes concentrated on the separation of vessels in highly congested areas, notably the English Channel. In 1964 the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to use its current title, accepted the institutes’ report on traffic regulation in the Dover Strait. This led to a marked reduction in the number of collisions between ships in one of the world’s busiest sea straits. The concept pioneered in 1964 has now spread to other congested areas around the world.

This early work illustrated the need to establish standards in the worldwide navigation community and the potential for Institutes working together to influence future international developments in the field of navigation. It also became apparent that a properly constituted international navigation entity that could attain consultative status with international regulatory bodies was needed. This matter was brought before all the institutes by the Presidents of the British and American institutes.

Early in 1975, the presidents of the Institutes of Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States agreed a formal declaration of an International Association of Institutes of Navigation, to be known by the acronym IAIN.  IAIN is registered in the Netherlands as an International Association and comprises national Institutes of Navigation (IONs) (16), Associate Members (3), Corporate Members (1) and Corresponding Members (8) worldwide.

IAIN has held International Congresses in: Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1976; Brighton, United Kingdom 1979; Paris 1982; Tokyo in 1985; Sydney 1988; Cairo 1991; Beijing 1994, Amsterdam 1997, San Diego, California 2000, Berlin 2003, Jeju, South Korea 2006, Stockholm in 2009, Cairo 2012, Prague 2015, Chiba, Japan 2018.  The next Congress will be held in 2024 in China.  

The Association’s Officers elected for 2021-2024 are:


Krzysztof Czaplewski

Polish Navigation Forum

Immediate Past President

  John Pottle

Royal Institute of Navigation

Senior Vice-President

Zhang Baochen

China Institute of Navigation

Vice President

Aiden Morrison

Nordic Navigation Forum

Vice President

Salvatore Gaglione

Italian Institute of Navigation


Tom Willems

Netherlands Institute of Navigation

Associate Members’ Rep.

Not Appointed


Secretary General

Hesham Helal

Arab Institute of Navigation

The Association can be contacted through the Secretary General at: Royal Institute of Navigation, 1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AT, UK.
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7591 3130  or by E-mail at: