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Association of Forth Pilots

Middle Pier
Edinburgh EH5 1HF
United Kingdom


Forth Pilots – Mission Statement
The mission of the Association of Forth Pilots is to be among the leaders of the marine pilotage industry and to achieve the highest standards in all aspects of its operations.

The key objectives in this strategy are:

Meet or exceed all the requirements of legislation that relates to the Marine Pilotage in the United Kingdom.

Meet or exceed the standard set by the International Standard for Maritime Pilotage Organisations code (ISPO)
Consistently provide an efficient service and measured service which satisfies our customers’ needs and expectations while conforming with our contractual commitments to Forth Ports Limited

Identifying and implementing continuous improvement by developing the knowledge and skills of all Forth Pilots

The provision of pilotage in a safe and efficient manner with commitment to the protection of the environment and the achievement of the highest standards in all aspects of its operations.

The Association provides pilotage services in the Firth of Forth area of the Scottish east coast, from the Bass Rock and Fife Ness in the east to Grangemouth and Longannet in the west. The pilotage area is extensive and covers the major ports of Leith, Grangemouth and Rosyth, the crude oil terminal at Hound Point and gas terminal at Braefoot Bay, plus the smaller ports of Methil, Kirkcaldy, Burntisland, and Inverkeithing.

All 26 Forth Pilots are Master Mariners, and are examined, assessed and authorised by the Harbour Authority, Forth Ports Ltd. Our pilots possess extensive navigational experience, local knowledge and ship-handling skills and are charged with safely and efficiently piloting vessels in the frequently challenging weather and tidal conditions of the Forth area, at all hours of the day and night, 365 days a year.

Our pilots have all held command at sea, or sometimes have been first class pilots in other major ports. Training is extensive, and lasts around four or five years from first joining us as a trainee pilot through to authorisation as a First Class pilot, handling vessels of any size or tonnage. Training involves tripping with experienced pilots, ship simulator training and tug familiarisation. Assessments are carried out at each stage of training, prior to progression to the next level.

Professional development and ensuring our maritime skills are kept up to date and relevant is taken seriously. All pilotage authorisations are revalidated every four years, and pilots must undertake regular simulator training, assessment of ship handling skills and local knowledge, take part in safety drills, plus meet the required medical standard, prior to their authorization being revalidated.

As an association we work closely with national and international organisations, We are active members of the United Kingdom Maritime Pilots Association (UKMPA – , the European Maritime Pilots Association (EMPA – and the International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA –


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