Our History: Building and Growing
1970s, the working parties began to publish reports on navigation and
safety issues. They covered topics from the importance of traffic
separation and collision prevention in the maritime environment to fuel
reserves in aircraft. As the Institute's focus broadened, it began to
organise conferences to discuss these issues, on both a national and an international level.
But navigation itself had not stood still. First the development of
Loran, and then in 1978, the launch of the first GPS satellite,
threatened to overwhelm the very idea of needing a Royal Institute of
Navigation, as position-finding became a relatively automatic - and
automated - function. However, the broad church of the RIN ensured it
not only survived, but found a way to thrive in the new era of satellite
In 1984, a 'Way Ahead Group' appointed by the RIN Council
recommended several crucial additions to its profile, including the
creation of Special Interest Groups and the launch of a populist
newsletter. This later became Navigation News. It was also during the
early 1980s that the Institute broadened its focus again to include
animal navigation in its remit, and moved to proactively recruit
These moves, allied to a determination to embrace
global satellite navigation systems and information technology as
important elements in modern navigation, helped the RIN evolve into a
21st century organisation, with a broad range of support and interests.
Between 1984-1994, the Institute ran a series of larger European
conferences and added more and more Special Interest Groups to its
portfolio, including the Land Navigation and Location Group and the
Navigation on Foot Group, to reflect the growth in popularity of
navigation hobbies such as geocaching, hillwalking and orienteering.
The creation of a range of competitions helped the Institute attract
younger members and, more recently, we have added significant numbers
of university students to the membership.