Inside the AHO

Roles & Responsibilities

The Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO) is responsible for the conduct of hydrographic surveys, as well as providing Australia's national charting service under the terms of the UN Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention and the Navigation Act. This role requires the coordination and determination of policy and standards which covers both hydrographic surveying and charting, as well as contributing to the coordination, exchange and standards related to geospatial data in general.

The core activities that support these roles span all elements of the AHO. The functions of the AHO are:

Provide Hydrographic Services to the Nation

Meet Australia's obligations for the provision of nautical products and services as the national hydrographic authority to

  • Enable safe navigation
  • Support national infrastructure and maritime trade
  • Satisfy international obligations under SOLAS and UNCLOS
  • Support the protection of the marine environment

Provide Hydrographic advice to Government and Defence, including:

  • Standards for hydrographic surveying and nautical information impacting safety of navigation,
  • Competency standards for hydrographic surveyors and nautical cartographers impacting safety of navigation
    Strategic oversight of the HM Capability - people and systems
  • Provide maritime military geospatial information to Defence

Acquire, Manage, Produce and Deliver Hydrographic, Meteorological and Oceanographic Information to:

  • Enable freedom of manoeuvre in Australia's maritime domain
  • Enable Australian Defence Force assets to exploit the above and below the water physical operating environment for strategic, operational and tactical advantage

Provide Strategic Guidance to the Fleet Command on:

  • National Survey Tasking
  • Data collection quality standards
  • Hydrographic training and standards requirements