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Pilot Training

Duties of the Board, as provided by the New York Navigation Law include, among other responsibilities, establishing rules and regulations regarding pilot apprenticeships, approval of applications for apprenticeships and the examination of Sandy Hook, Hudson River and Long Island Sound Pilots for original licenses and any extensions of route. The qualifications for entrance into the State pilot system are rigorous. Sandy Hook apprentice pilots require at least five years in the apprentice training program riding 1,000 vessels. Hudson River Pilots-in-Training are required to have a minimum 1,600 gross ton mate or a master’s credential with first class pilotage endorsements for the Hudson River. In the Long Island Sound, Northeast Marine Pilots requires an unlimited master’s credential with first class pilotage endorsements for all ports in the Long Island Sound.

An Advanced Pilot Training Program ensures that New York State pilots are the best trained, equipped and informed professionals in the nation. The training program, which is regularly reviewed and upgraded, provides continuing education seminars, including for example:

  • Development of “Best Practices” for harbor pilotage of Ultra-Large and Super Ultra-Large container vessels at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS);

  • Bridge Resource Management for Pilots at MITAGS;

  • Manned Model Training at Port Revel, France, the Maritime Pilots Institute in Covington, Louisiana, Marine Safety, Inc. at Newport, Rhode Island, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Ship Simulator School;

  • Radar Systems Theory and Use, Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), Satellite Navigation (SATNAV), Global Positioning System (GPS), Automatic Identification System (AIS), electronic information and auto pilot systems;

  • Selected case histories and studies of maritime accidents and casualties;

  • Master-Pilot Exchange (MPX) system and protocols;

  • Change of the Conn Policies and Procedures;

  • Role of the Compulsory State Pilot;

  • Human Factors in Marine Operations;

  • Fatigue, Sleep and Medications Program at MITAGS;

  • Tractor tug, azimuth propulsion, podded propulsion and dynamic positioning training at MITAGS and the Maritime Pilots Institute.

The advanced pilot training program ensures that State licensed pilots maintain their high professional standards in the rapidly changing maritime industry. The courses focus on efficient use of personnel, communications, equipment, organizational development and human, as well as technical, resources available on the bridge of a modern ship. The advanced pilot training program is responsive to, and addresses, the recommendations and/or rules of other recognized safety agencies, such as the National Transportation Safety Board, The National Safety Council, Standards for the Training and Certification of Watch Officers and the United States Coast Guard. The goal of the advanced pilot training program is to heighten communication levels and awareness of the various human and operational factors which affect their work and their lives in a State pilotage system, which operates twenty-four hours a day in all weather conditions.