Peter Lightfoot (R3 Tees) attended this seminar in Edinburgh in March. Topics covered were:

Emergency Towing Vessels (ETV’s):

Following withdrawal of funding last November and despite a temporary reprieve in Scotland, the MCA anticipate that future ETV’s will be sourced from the open market. Due to reduced manning levels cover from harbour tugs cannot now be included as an option so there may now be a return to speculative placing of salvage tugs around the coast.

Impact of the new Forth Bridge Construction project.

This was a joint presentation from the Harbour Master and the bridge company and the many issues faced by such a large project and the potential impact on navigation and port operation were discussed.

Dealing with the Media (before they deal with you!).

TV presenter Bill Mcfarlan, who is also MD of “The Broadcasting Business”, explained the importance of managing the media and compared the examples of BP’s Tony Hayward following the Deepwater Horizon disaster and NY Mayor, Juliano follwing the 911 attack.

Northern Lighthouse Board.

The role of the regional lighthouse authority in superintendence of local Aids to Navigation  and the various issues of marking and lighting new navigational channels were discussed.

Stewart Stevenson (MSP Minister for Environment and Climate change) gave a speech covering all the topical issues but (in true political style) left immediately with no time for questions.

Identifying and addressing changes in Port Operations

Bob Hockham, Business development manager BMT Isis Ltd discussed the practical management of port operations and developments.

Incident Management Systems

Kevin North from Badger Software Ltd gave an interesting presentation showcasing the latest crisis management software called CLIO currently used by the police and explained how it could be adapted for port use.

This is an edited version of Peter’s full report which is available on the UKMPA website       JCB


Mike Morris (R3 Manchester)

The recently announced Review of the EU Ports Policy is now at the consultation stage. The contents of the review will be discussed at a stakeholders conference planned for the summer of 2012 with the policy proposals likely to be published during the early part of 2013.

The EC initiatives will focus on :

– Administrative simplifications

– Ports infrastructure

– Specific Port topics including financing, labour conditions, concessions and technical services.

Under its policy review, the EC has ordered 4 surveys to cover :

– Port Labour, Health and safety and Qualifications.

– Pilotage

– Port services

– State aid to Ports

Under the title of ‘Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a Competitive and Resource Efficient Transport System’ the EU commission propose to liberalize maritime port services which will include Pilotage. The agenda will be :

2012 – Public consultation

2013 – New proposals

The proposal’s scope will be to review restrictions on provision of Port services and to set up a common EU framework for Pilotage Exemption Certificates (PEC’s) in EU ports.

The Vice President of the EU commission and commissioner for transport Mr Siim Kallas declared “Ensuring that there is a competitive and open environment in port services provision, is crucially important for seaports”

All the major European Pilotage associations are actively involved in lobbying their respective MEP’s and meeting with the EU transport commission. Representatives of the UKMPA have secured a meeting with Brian Simpson MEP who is President of the European parliament Transport and Tourism committee. We will be discussing a number of EU matters pertaining  to Pilotage with regards to the white paper.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers have been commissioned by the EU to undertake a study on PEC’s. The study covers all aspects of PEC’s and also sneaks in Shore Based Pilotage. The UKMPA have contacted the MCA to offer our assistance if it is required.

For an update on the MonaLisa project CLICK HERE 


Peter Wylie (R3 Tees) and Graham Langley (Manchester) attended the PMSC working group meeting last December. Space prevents a full report on the meeting being included here but  one item in particular highlights the importance of UKMPA input into the PMSC proceedings.

As a result of the Vallermosa incident  a Working Group was set up to look at Bridge Team / Pilot Exchange issues and a draft paper of recommendations was tabled for finalisation. The UKMPA had raised some concerns over the wording contained within the paper, in particular the reference to “integration” of pilots into the Bridge Team which isn’t feasible. The paper was edited during he meeting to address the UKMPA’s concerns with amendments such as the word “integration” being replaced by “working with” made accordingly.

Whilst the UKMPA still have serious concerns over the MCA’s PMSC compliance verification and enforcement processes, other topics such as a formal qualification for pilots are progressing positively. JCB

All-Party Parliamentary Maritime and Ports Group (APPMPG)

Although many of the topics discussed by this group may not always be of relevance to the pilotage, the UKMPA attendees are frequently the only serving professional mariners and this results in the UKMPA input into the meetings being highly valued and respected .

Mike Robarts (Harwich) attended the last two meetings held at the Houses of Parliament.

January: Protecting world trade: armed guards and piracy

March (Also attended by Kevin Vallance  {Deep Sea}): Cruise shipping and safety

The March meeting obviously covering  the Costa Concordia disaster was particularly well attended by many influential shipping figures.

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