The International Foundation for Aids to Navigation’s (IFAN), overall objective is the promotion of safety at sea and the protection of the marine environment. Headquartered in London, it achieves this by contributing to the efforts of a number of other maritime organisations, through education and funding of global Aids to Navigation initiatives. It operates several commercial subsidiaries, generating revenue which is re-invested in maritime hard and soft infrastructure initiatives. IFAN links with entities such as the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), Straits of Malacca and Singapore Fund, amongst others.
Established over 60 years ago, the ‘Persian Gulf Lighting Service’ was created as the responsible authority for aids to navigation in the Arabian Gulf. This structure evolved to become MENAS (Middle East Navigation Aids Service), which continues to be the Gulf region’s leading innovator in the supply and maintenance of Aids to Navigation including DGPS. In addition, it provides advisory services related to the safe navigation of vessels entering and transiting the Arabian Gulf and its approaches. The change of name of the parent Company, from MENAS to International Foundation for Aids to Navigation (IFAN), was made in 2011 to reflect extended global coverage of safety at sea and Aids to Navigation activities and functions.
Structure & Funding
IFAN is constituted as an English company limited by guarantee and is registered with the UK Charity Commission as a charity. The company has no shareholders and is absolved from taxation in the UK. Besides MENAS, the charity has two wholly owned operating subsidiaries, MENAS Marine Services Limited (MMSL), which commercially operates an offshore support vessel, previously primary bouy handler in the Gulf, and Oman Marine Services Limited (OMSL). The latter held a 50% share in an Omani company - Arabian Marine and Navigational Aids Services Limited – until the end of 2020 when the concessional agreement from the Sultanate for its aids to navigation service terminated after 15 years.
IFAN provides its support at the lowest possible cost, by extracting the maximum value from its assets and by effectively managing its costs. The aids to navigation service provided by MENAS throughout the Arabian Gulf is financed by the payment of Nav Dues (or Light Dues) for vessels making trading voyages into the Gulf. All dues collected are exclusively utilised to cover MENAS’ operating costs and to improve the aids to navigation service in the Gulf region. Malacca/IALA and other financial/support arrangements are funded from income from charitable assets - including the MMSL vessel (OSV Relume) - or from retained reserves or funds invested in various securities managed by professional investment managers.
Additional to its wider, global remit, IFAN continues to provide the aids to navigation service across the international waters of the Arabian Gulf through MENAS, utilising its equipment and facilities from an operational base in Bahrain and a support base in Abu Dhabi. Within the GCC, IFAN also provided technical and management services to Oman up to the end of 2020 when the Sultanate assumed full responsibility for providing an aids to navigation service in both its territorial waters and extended economic zone.
For a number of years IFAN has also supported a major international effort to improve the traffic separation scheme for the Malacca Straits, one of the World’s most congested waterways. It continues to contribute a major proportion of the total funding required to meet the costs of a 10-year refurbishment programme of infrastructure and operations.
IFAN has also committed to a five-year funding of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) training programme - The Worldwide Academy. This is aimed at improving global knowledge and understanding of the need for aids to navigation, its impact on littoral States’ international trade and the ongoing maintenance requirement of the infrastructure.
In addition to its funding of IALA training programmes, IFAN involves itself in various other projects where a significant educational, industry or geographical maritime requirement requires support, such as research into maritime navigational or vessel operational threats, including a recent initiative aimed at improving Navigation Aids throughout the Pacific.
Board of Directors
IFAN’s non-executive Board of Directors comprises members representing organisations that are the end-users of navigation aids services, thus with a vested interest in ensuring that the projects we select for funding assist seaborne world trade. Our Board currently includes representatives of major oil and gas producers, the transporters of these commodities as well as container and bulk operators.
Guy Mason (Chairman)
Mr. Mason was appointed at a board meeting of the organisation held in Bahrain in December 2022. He replaced outgoing chairman Alan Marsh, the former CEO of London broker Braemar, who stepped down after three years in the post. Mason joined the IFAN board in March this year having retired from BP at the end of 2020 as senior vice president and global head of shipping. He is already a director at the shipping intelligence service Windward and Lithuanian oil company Klaipedos Nafta. Mason spent nearly five years at BP Shipping.
Mr. Marsh was appointed to the Board in August 2018. He is a Trustee and Council Member of The Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC), a Council Member of RNLI. He sits on the development board of WetWheels UK and is an Associate Member of the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, a UK Charity. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers for whom he is a former President. He is also a Younger Brother of Trinity House, Past Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and formerly CEO of Braemar Shipping Group PLC as well as a Director of ITIC.
Mr. Stanley was appointed CEO in July 2019 and a Director in September 2019. Formerly with BP for 30 years working in BP Shipping, HSE, Refining Manufacturing and Supply, Chemicals and finally as Head of Control of BP’s Corporate segment. He is an external advisor to the Audit Committee of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. He graduated from Newcastle University obtaining a first class honours degree in Marine Engineering and has an MBA from the Judge Business School, Cambridge University. He is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.
Mr. Ross was appointed as a director in March 2022. He is currently Head of Marine Standards in Maersk A/S and is responsible for all Health, Safety, Security, Environmental and Quality matters for the Maersk managed container fleet, including navigational and cargo safety policies. In addition, he acts as the Designated Person Ashore for the Maersk fleet. Mr. Ross started his career in Maersk in 1994 as an engineer apprentice and has a degree in marine engineering has also completed a master mariner degree.
Appointed a Director in November 2020. He is presently Vice President of Chartering for BP Shipping Limited, accountable for the global chartering activity and monetisation of BP’s oil and gas fleet. He is a supply, shipping and trading specialist, having worked in this sector for over 20 years and holds a Bachelor of Business degree from RMIT University, Australia.
Captain John Hughes
Appointed a director in November 2008. Formerly Operations Vice President and Director of Exxon’s international oil and gas tanker fleet; from 1999 to 2004 Director of the Oil Companies International Maritime Forum. He is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute, Past Chairman of Maritime CHIRP, Past Master of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, Past Chairman and Trustee of the Shipwrecked Mariners Society, Younger Brother of Trinity House and in 2018 awarded the Merchant Navy Medal.
Captain Yousef Al Saqer
Appointed as a Director in November 2010. He is presently Manager Fleet newbuilding projects KOTC, formerly Manager fleet marine operations KOTC where he was accountable for the day-to-day operations, safety & security of KOTC Fleet. He started his career as Navigation Officer, leading to Master on board KOTC’s VLCC, LPG and Product tankers. He served in numerous roles on shore in Fleet operations, Marine Affairs and risk assessment. He holds a Bsc in Maritime Transport Technology and is a Master Mariner.
Captain Iain Scally
Captain Scally was appointed a Director in November 2021. He is presently serving as Marine Advisor to NYK’s Global Tanker Quality Group in Tokyo. Formerly with ExxonMobil for 28 years serving as Master and then a variety of shore-based positions including HSQE, Marine Operations and Shipping Manager within LNG operations. Captain Scally commenced his seagoing career with Shell in 1970. He is founding member and Fellow of the Nautical Institute and serves on technical committees within Intertanko and SIGTTO.
Captain John Evans
Captain Evans was appointed as a Director in August 2013. He is currently Global Manager Maritime Security and Fleet Q&HSSE Global Manager Shipping Emergency Response, Shell Transport & Trading Company. Prior to this appointment, he was Fleet Manager, Shell Tankers Australia. Following a sea-going career up to the rank of Master within Shell, Captain Evans gained wide experience within senior marine positions ashore.
Ms Evans was appointed to the Board in June 2020. She is currently non-executive director and audit committee chair of AB Dynamics plc and Gooch & Housego plc. Ms Evans previously held Group Finance Director roles at Braemar Shipping Services plc and Williams Grand Prix Holdings plc. She has also held senior positions at RPS Group plc and Reynard Motorsport. She qualified as a chartered accountant whilst working with Ernst & Young. Ms Evans graduated from the University of Wales with a first class degree in Management Science and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.