Editorial January 2010

Welcome to 2010 and to this 300th issue of The PILOT. We are now well into the 21st century and it is interesting to look back to the 1880’s when the Association was formed. In those days it was the UKPA because there were no airline pilots and that gives an indication as to just how technology has advanced. We have international air travel, man has walked on the moon, we can instantly send messages to anywhere in the world and surf through billions of pages of information in the Internet. We can even walk in the beautiful countryside or sit in a restaurant and talk to no one in particular about nothing of consequence on our mobile phone, oblivious to our surroundings. But what about shipping? Well the ships are different and we now have radar and will shortly be navigating on electronic charts but has anything really changed? In the feature I have tried to unravel the mysteries of ECDIS and I must admit that the concept is potentially a great advance towards enhancing navigational safety but it can only happen with training. ECDIS will become compulsory from 2012 onwards but what are the shipping companies doing about training their officers? Very little because there is currently no formal training requirement. One expert has estimated that 500,000 officers will need to be trained during the next 8 years and no sign yet of a rush. I think that we have a major problem.

Also in this issue I have reviewed the latest Nautical Institute publications on mooring and anchoring. Reading through the pages and looking at the mooring equipment it occurred to me that any officer from the 1880’s turning up in the Tardis would have no problem in mooring or anchoring a modern ship, the equipment is unchanged. The only question that our officer would ask is “Where are the crew?”. Here we are in 2010 with regulations that permit flag states to set the safe manning level for a VLCC at a total of 10 men? I can see our hypothetical officer dashing back to the Tardis!

Leave a Reply

UK Maritime Pilots' Association
European Maritime Pilots' Association
Internation Pilots' Association SITE SPONSORS
Navicom Dynamics
OMC International