New Australian Pilotage Guidelines

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Australian Transport Council (ATC) of Ministers has approved a new set of national safety guidelines on marine pilotage.

The revised guidelines were developed by the National Marine Safety Committee (NMSC) in conjunction with Ports Australia, the Australian Marine Pilots Association and Marine Safety Queensland.

The project delivers Federal, State and Territory Authorities with a set of guidelines to facilitate a national approach to marine pilotage safety.

NMSC’s Acting CEO John Henry said the standards referenced are appropriate for the individual ports and pilotage areas within their jurisdiction’s waters.

“In providing these guidelines, it is recognised that the characteristics of the ports and pilotage areas around Australia vary significantly; and therefore, so will their pilotage requirements,” Mr Henry said.

“The NMSC recognised the need for a uniform approach to pilotage safety as practices have also varied markedly,” he said.

“Marine pilotage is critical to the safe operation of vessels and the revised guidelines take into account the latest developments in approaches to safety management and in the recognition of competency of pilots.

“The new guidelines also take into account developments in approaches to risk management and other aspects affecting the safe conduct of vessels under pilotage since the first edition of the guidelines was published in the Year 2000”.

The revised guidelines include sections on pilot licences, safety management systems (SMS), fatigue management in the case of shiftwork, the keeping of audit records and the survey and manning of pilot vessels.

“They also contain annexes on medical fitness, competency training and pilot vessel design,” Mr Henry added.

A copy of the National Marine Guidance Manual – Guidelines for Marine Pilotage Standards in Australia, Edition 2 can be obtained by visiting: www.nmsc.gov.au (click on Publications/Guidance Manuals).

(www.nmsc.gov.au)

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