Skip Navigation


Security Levels


Private Aids to Navigation

The Seventeenth Coast Guard District is responsible for the permitting of all Private Aids to Navigation (PATON) locate in Alaska. Private Aids to Navigation (PATON) include lighted structures and daybeacons, lighted and unlighted buoys, RACONs and fog signals, which are installed and maintained by anyone other than the Coast Guard. There are over 160 privately operated and maintained aids to navigation in the Seventeenth Coast Guard District. This includes all waters under Federal jurisdiction in Alaska. Owners of these private aids include marinas, yacht clubs, municipal and state governments, construction and dredging companies, research and non-profit organizations, beach front associations, large industrial concerns and individuals. In order to establish a Private aid(s) on navigable waters regulated by the federal government, you are required to obtain either a Coast Guard permit or Coast Guard letter of no objection. To obtain an application for a permit, form CG-2554, contact the 17th Coast Guard District PATON Manager.

Mooring Buoys
Non-commercial, single-boat, mooring buoys normally do not require a Coast Guard permit, provided they do not cause more than a minimal adverse effect on navigation and display the standard markings. The same is true of most information and regulatory marks, such as swim buoys, no-wake buoys, and race course buoys. Owners contemplating establishing such buoys should also contact the Army Corps of Engineers, their State Authority, usually the Department of Natural Resources, to determine what additional state and local requirements may exist.


The Seventeenth Coast Guard District PATON Manager will provide applicants with assistance in processing their paperwork. Assist the applicant in interpreting Federal regulations governing private aids to navigation. Provide the applicant with copies of their previously issued permits (Note: Approved PATON application are considered a legal document and should maintained on file with the applicant). In addition sample illustrations showing standard markings for private aids to navigation, and lists of commercial ATON manufacturers are available. Please contact the 17th Coast Guard District PATON Manager for further information and assistance.


Owners are reminded of their responsibility for the proper operation and maintenance of their private aids to navigation. When owners receive discrepancy reports from the Coast Guard, they are obligated to take immediate action to correct the discrepancy. Mariners are reminded that they have a responsibility to report discrepant private aids to the nearest Coast Guard unit. All marine aids to navigation within the Seventeenth Coast Guard District area of responsibility, both private and federally maintained, are user monitored. The failure of a mariner to report a discrepant marine aid to navigation may result in casualties to others. The Coast Guard issues broadcast notice to mariners for reported discrepancies which remain in effect until the discrepancy is corrected or is published in the Local Notice to Mariners.

The links found on this page explain the Seventeenth Coast Guard Districts Private Aids to Navigation (PATON) Program. You will find the required form (CG-2554) for submitting your application. Information on Federal Regulations and sources of supply for your private navigation markers is also available here. If you have any questions about Private Aids to Navigation Program, please contact us.


Informational Documents
1. Handout: Helps explain the U.S. Coast Guard PATON program. Includes a list of companies that sell PATON products.
2. Booklet: Helps to explain the U.S. Aids to Navigation System and the standardized waterway marking system.
3. 33 CFR Part 62: Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 62, United States Aids to Navigation System.
4. 33 CFR Part 66: Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 66, Private Aids to Navigation.
5. CG-2554: United States Coast Guard Private Aids to Navigation Application Form.
6. Example CG-2554: Helps to explain filing out the application form.
7. Mooring Buoy Guide: Helps to explain the Mooring Buoy approval process.
8. Government Agency Guide: Helps give guidance as to which government agencies to talk to in Alaska.

Regulatory Changes allowing LED Lighting Equipment

LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting equipment has been approved for use as PATON as of March 08, 2004. If you are considering installing a light please contact the 13th Coast Guard District PATON Manager before purchasing your lighting equipment. For more information regarding this regulatory change, and others, review this document from the Federal Register LED Lights.

Auxiliary Private Aids to Navigation Verifications

The Coast Guard Auxiliary assist the Coast Guard by conducting Verifications of Private Aids to Navigation to ensure the aids are functioning and are being maintained according to their application. Below are the documents to assist the Auxiliary when conducting these verifications.

1. PATON-7054 - PATON Discrepancy Report: Used to document PATON and ATON discrepancies and to report unauthorized PATON.

2. United States Coast Guard Auxiliary AV Study Guide: Study guide for the Auxiliary Aid Verifier Course.

For information about PATON located within the 17th Coast Guard District contact the PATON Manager.

US Coast Guard District 17
Commander (dpw)
PO Box 25517
Juneau, Alaska 99802-5517
Attn: PATON Manager
Phone (907) 463-2272
Fax (907) 462-2273

Floating Aid Icon Report all discrepancies with marine aids to navigation to the nearest Coast Guard Sector!

Sector Anchorage (907) 271-6769
Sector Juneau (907) 463-2980

Download Plug-Ins: Some of the links on this page require a plug-in to view them. Links to the plug-ins are available below.
Click Here to Download Adobe Acrobat Reader Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF) Click Here to Download Excel viewer Excel
Last Modified 1/12/2016