The main task of the pilot vessel service is to bring the pilot to and from assignments, and the service is available 24 hours a day, all year round. The Norwegian Coastal Administration has presently 25 pilot boats stationed at 18 pilot stations along the coast. This service will be outsourced from june 1st and will be operated by the tug boat company Bukser og Berging.
The pilot vessels log around 29,000 operating hours annually. With so many operating hours the pilot boat skippers gain detailed knowledge and expertise of the maritime geography, weather conditions, vessel traffic, etc. in their local regions. The pilot vessel fleet therefore participates in local rescue preparedness and has the authority to assist the rescue services as required. Managing emergency situations is therefore an important part of the training for personnel onboard the pilot vessels.
Helicopter transport service for pilots
A helicopter transport service is currently offered to vessels classified to carry hazardous and/or pollutive cargo to the oil and gas terminals at Kårstø, Sture, Mongstad, Nyhamna and Melkøya.
The helicopter service is offered to certain types of vessel that receive pilots outside the sea boundary. This is done out of consideration to the environment and the safety of the vessel and pilot, as well to ensure the regularity and predictability of the traffic.
Vessels over 30,000 gross tonnes that are classified to carry hazardous and/or pollutive cargo will be offered pilot transport by helicopter. This applies to vessels over 25,000 gross tonnes (maximum draught of 9 metres) at Nyhamna and over 20,000 gross tonnes at Melkøya.
This service is currently organized as a contracted service, in which the Norwegian Coastal Administration manages the service and Lufttransport AS performs the service with its helicopters from bases in Bergen and Hammerfest.
The service is currently fully user-financed and is offered as a round-the-clock service year round.
Lufttransport AS has a contract with the Norwegian Coastal Administration for the provision of helicopter services. Around 1,100 helicopter assignments are performed annually. The helicopter service started in 1992 as a trial scheme at Mongstad in Hordaland.
Introducing New Regulations for Pilot Bookings
On April 3, 2018, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) will introduce new booking regulations for requesting marine pilots. The regulations will thus be formalized and merged into one set ‒ Regulations on Compulsory Pilotage.
Fees for 2018: Reduction in Safety Fees and moderate increase in Pilotage Fee
The fees for 2018 set by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, are noticeably lower than 2017. For 2018, safety fees are reduced by 8.5 per cent on average and the pilot readiness fee is increased by 1.9 per cent on average.
Automated control of vessels using Pilot Exemption Certificates
In November, the Norwegian Coastal Administration introduced a digital tool that improves and automates the process of uncovering compulsory pilotage violations. Monitoring compulsory pilotage, including the Pilot Exemption Certificate (PEC) scheme, helps ensure a high degree of safety along the coast.
Testing clean-up preparedness off Svalbard
A recent planning conference has set objectives for an oil spill response exercise planned by the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) in cooperation with the governor of Svalbard.
Preparing for increased shipping in the high North
The Norwegian Coastal Administration is already starting measures this year to increase the safety at sea around Svalbard. It is occurring as a result of an expected increase in traffic in the waters around the archipelago.
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