Transport Canada has proposed extensive revisions to the Canadian Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations (ASPPR 1989). In part, these changes make use of actual ice conditions, and define the conditions in which vessels can navigate in ice-covered waters. The system is based on the quantity of hazardous ice. Transport Canada approached the Canadian Hydraulics Centre of the National Research Council to assist them in developing a scientific basis for the Ice Regime System, which is at present based on operational experience. A seven-step approach was developed to do this. A major part of this process was the development of a comprehensive database that would relate ship damage to ice conditions and environmental factors. This paper describes the development, design and format of the database. It also includes a few examples of the types of queries that can be performed with the information in the database.
Navigation in Canadian waters north of60ºN latitude is regulated by Shipping Safety Control Zones. At the present time, a "Zone/Date" matrix gives entry and exit dates for various ship types and classes. It is a rigid system with little room for exceptions. Transport Canada, in consultation with stakeholders, has proposed extensive revisions to the Canadian Arctic Shipping Pollution Prevention Regulations (ASPPR 1989; TC-RIAS 1996; AIRSS 1996). The changes are designed to reduce the risk of structural damage in ships which could lead to the release of pollution into the environment, but provide the necessary flexibility to ship owners by making use of actual ice conditions, as seen by the Master. In this new system, an "Ice Regime", which is a region of generally consistent ice conditions, is defined at the time the vessel enters that specific geographic region, or it is defined in advance for planning and design purposes.