Image: Minister Harbers, NL govt photo by Martijn Beekman

Minister Mark Harbers is an important guy in The Netherlands. He is responsible for infrastructure and water management. With much of the country at or below sea level already, water management is a bid deal.

Harbers was the opening speaker at the 2023 European Navigation Conference at the end of May. The theme of the event was Resilient PNT. 

Some quotes:

  • We’re also starting to monitor satellite navigation signals to gain experience in identifying disruptions and failures at an early stage. This will enable us to inform users in good time so they can take action.
  • We need to pay more attention to back-up systems. What can we fall back on if satellites fail? What terrestrial systems can we use in such cases? How can we incorporate reliable time and place registration?
  • Let’s make sure we don’t end up flurried by surprise, like Richard Carrington. Let’s prepare ourselves for future storms.

All good.

But then he put the responsibility on  participants to fix the problem.

  • As experts, you have a vital part to play. Our society is powered by technology.
  • I’m delighted that you’re here today. And that the theme of this conference is such a crucial one. So in closing, I would say: make us resilient!

Sorry, sir. The folks in the room have already done their job.

We have had sufficient technology to make PNT more resilient for decades. Political leaders have just refused recognize the need and implement it.

Over to you, Minister.