Fewer voyages with pilot on board

Shrimp Trawler, Russia demands NOK 90 million in bailRemøy, Photo: Remøy Shipping

Fewer ship voyages with pilot on board

The traditional pilot may become a rarer sight on ships along the Norwegian coast if the trend of recent years continues. In 2016, almost 39 000 voyages were carried out with an on-board pilot in Norwegian waters; a decrease of 7 per cent from the previous year.


Vessels above a certain size are subject to compulsory pilotage on voyages in Norwegian internal waters. The number of voyages with mandatory pilot requirements has increased in recent years, from around 100 000 in 2012 to slightly over 116 000 in 2016. During the same period, the share of these voyages with a pilot on board has decreased from 44 to 33 per cent.

Increase in pilot exemption certificates

A navigator with a valid pilot exemption certificate may in many cases meet the pilot requirements without the use of an external pilot. The figures for the Norwegian Coastal Administration’s activities show that an increasing share of the voyages requiring pilotage are handled by navigators with pilot exemption certificates.

The share of compulsory pilotage voyages handled by navigators with pilot exemption certificates grew from 53 per cent in 2012 to almost 66 per cent in 2016; an increase from about 53 000 to about 72 000 voyages. The number of voyages with pilot exemption certificates thus increased significantly more than the total number of voyages requiring pilotage during this period.

Increased activity for vessel traffic service centres

The vessel traffic service centres (VTS centres) granted a total of 408 000 vessel clearances in 2016. This is an increase of almost 11 per cent from 2015, which is entirely due to an expansion of the service area of Horten VTS centre.

As of 1 October 2015, Horten VTS centre assumed responsibility for monitoring and regulating shipping traffic in Oslo harbour, thereby gaining responsibility for the entire waters from Faerder to Oslo. The expansion resulted in Horten granting almost 155 000 sailing clearances in 2016; an increase of 35 per cent from the previous year.

As a result, Horten surpassed Kvitsoey in Rogaland, which monitors traffic from Boemlafjorden in the north to Jaeren Rev in the south. Kvitsoey VTS centre granted almost 152 000 vessel clearances in 2016, which is about the same as the year before.


Source: SSB / Norway Today