The U.K.P.A. was founded in Bristol by Commander George Cawley in 1884. Pilots from 18 Districts attended its Inaugural Conference, its objective was to influence the development of Pilotage and Associated Regulations, including Acts of Parliament, and to help those members around the country who found themselves in difficulty .

The U.K.P.A. was involved with the development of all the Pilotage Acts from 1889 to 1987 and the Merchant Shipping Act of 1894. Other examples of matters addressed by the U.K.P.A. include a resolution at the 1934 Conference “that a Pilots’ Benefit Fund be established in every port”.

In 1942 the pilots from 5 Districts decided to leave the U.K.P.A. and joined the T&G, forming the Marine Pilots’ Branch (M.P.B.)

In 1963 the U.K.P.A. participated in the discussions which led to the formation of the European Maritime Pilots Association (E.M.P.A.), formally joining the new organisation in 1964.

In 1985 the U.K.P.A. was faced with several problems, not least that (shared with the M.P.B.) of impending radical legislation and the UKPA and MPB joined forces to become the U.K.P.A.(M), a section of the Transport & General Workers’ Union.

In  2000,  Conference voted to rename the Association the United Kingdom Maritime Pilots’ Association (UKMPA). The UKMPA retains the same day to day autonomy as had been the case with the two previous organisations, but under the umbrella of the T&G rules.

The UKMPA has its own office in Transport House, London and a full-time Union Officer, currently Mr. G. Stevenson, is the UKMPA National Secretary. The UKMPA holds an annual delegate conference where all Districts can be represented. There is a national Section Committee consisting of a Chairman, Vice-chairman, and six members (all are serving pilots), one of whom is elected as Treasurer/Secretary. Section Committee elections are held annually. The UKMPA Technical & Training Sub-Committee is a sub-committee of the UKMPA Section Committee and deals with all aspects of pilotage, e.g. Protective Clothing, Boarding/Landing equipment, Health & Safety and training etc. There is regular communication, via circulars, between the Section Committee and each Pilotage District’s locally elected District Secretary. The District Secretary is responsible for the dissemination of information to members. The Pilot magazine is published quarterly and is the official record of the UKMPA. After more than 100 years of looking after the interests of Marine Pilots, the UKMPA, which represents 98% of U.K. pilots, looks forward with confidence to the next 100 years.

Current President: Lord Tony Berkeley


jpCurent Chairman: John Pearn (MilfordHaven pilot)

The UKMPA is affiliated to the:

European Maritime Pilots’ Assiation (EMPA)

International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA)

To visit the websites please click on the logos on the top right of this page

The U.K.M.P.A. is also affiliated to the I.T.F. (International Transport Workers’ Federation, Seafarers Section) with access to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) where matters such as VTS, standards of ship manoeuvrability, electronic charting, passenger ship safety, etc., are discussed at an international level.

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