Pilotage Services

Darwin Port provides a pilotage service to ensure the safety of ships’ passage within the Port of Darwin.

    Pilotage Services Provider

    Darwin Port Pilotage Pty Ltd is the designated Pilotage Services Provider for the Port of Darwin. The Pilotage Service Provider:

    • Provides transport and transfers licensed pilots to navigate vessels within the Port of Darwin;
    • Recruits, employs, trains and monitors the performance of pilots;
    • Conducts the day-to-day operations of the pilotage service; and
    • Is responsible for the safety and management of marine pilots.

    Compulsory Pilotage

    Pilotage is compulsory for all ships of 35 metres overall length or greater unless a valid pilotage exemption certificate is held by the Ship’s Master.  Notice of ETA and request for a pilot must be made to the shipping scheduler not less than 24 hours before the pilot service is required.

      Pilotage Authority

      The Regional Harbourmaster is the Pilotage Authority for the Port of Darwin and sets the pilotage standards.

        Pilotage Standards

        For information on individual designated port requirements get the Darwin pilotage standards.

          Passage Plans

          Darwin Port promotes the IMO’s mandate for complete berth to berth passage planning, as outlined in the International Chamber of Shipping’s Bridge Procedure’s Guide. To assist mariners in their application of these principles DPO provides the following guidance and resources.

          Download Darwin Port Passage Plan

          Vessels must have corrected copies of charts AUS 24, AUS 25, AUS 26 and AUS 28 (also AUS 27 if visiting a Middle Arm facility) on board or must be an ECDIS compliant vessel with up to date ENCs as well all other required documentation for proper planning of a passage into, and out of, the port.

            Pilotage Exemption Certificate (PEC) Information

            The Pilotage Authority may issue a master with a Pilotage Exemption Certificate (PEC) under the Ports Management Act.

            All pilotage exemption certificate information can be found on the Northern Territory Government website.

              Pilot Boats

              Darwin Port operates two purpose built pilot boats: Lamaroo commissioned in 2012; and Delirra commissioned 2016.  The pilot boats provide a 24/7 service transporting pilots to and from ships requiring the services of a Darwin Port pilot.  Both boats have a service speed of 22 knots.

              Both pilot boats can recover a person from the water using recovery platforms built into the stern.

              In addition to pilot transfer duties, the boats also carry out security duties and assist with the maintenance of navigation aids.

              Pilot Transfer Positions

              There are two pilot transfer positions with criteria as follows:

              • The Outer Pilot Boarding Ground (OPBG) is situated in position 12° 19’S, 130° 42’ Vessels greater than 200 metres overall length and vessels with a draught greater than 10.7 metre shall embark and disembark their pilot at the OPBG.
              • The Inner Pilot Boarding Ground (IPBG) is situated adjacent to Channel Rock, in position 12° 24’S, 130° 46’ Vessels requiring a pilot other than those above, shall embark and disembark their pilot at the IPBG.