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Will the shipping industry ever take after the airline industry

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  • Will the shipping industry ever take after the airline industry

    In recent years ships have been encouraged to adopt BRM and also type specific ECDIS training which is somewhat comparible to what airline pilots do. However why is our industry only limited to ECDIS training? A pilot knows what every button in his cockpit does because they are trained on that specific design

    Planes have ATC to give them speeds, altitudes and headings. Would this not be useful by VTS operators (minus the altitude) especially in busy areas? Imagine if entry to the Singapore straits adopted a traffic pattern which all ships must follow

    Finally airline pilots spend hours in a simulator practising meneouvres. We’re lucky to get 5 minutes during our OOW and Chief mates courses. Would more simulator time not be more beneficial especially when it comes to emergency procedures.

    What are other people’s thoughts on this? Does our industry need to change?

  • #2
    If an airliner crashes hundreds of people die and its worldwide front page news. If a cargo ship sinks you often don't even hear about it unless there's a big pollution incident.

    The passenger industry is very much going down the airline route with mandatory annual simulator courses, tests, brm and checklists galore.


    • #3
      There are far more types of ships than their are of planes, having a ship specific certificate would be needlessly expensive.

      I suppose that a ATC has the advantage of altitude, the can have multiple planes on the exact same lat/long but with a differing altitude. Imagine a VTS trying to actually manage the Singapore straight? Its a logistical nightmare.

      Im not entirely certain on the statistics but I bet that most incidents at sea are not related to collisions, pilot style training isnt really going to help people making small mistakes or help with fatigue.
      2/O Tankers

      Watch out for big green boxes...


      • #4
        The separation of aircraft within controlled airspace is the responsibility of Air Traffic Control, whereas the responsibility for collision avoidance at sea is with the ship.


        • #5
          What you're talking about is Vessel Traffic Management, it already exists! Logistically it causes all sorts of problems. I think one of the greatest contributors is language. There was a video a while back of a plane talking to ATC with Chinese pilots who couldn't speak much English. Everyone was shocked and outraged. Obviously at sea the situation is far far worse.

          So operators/innovators want to completely avoid that barrier and de-human the whole operation. Hence so much investment in automation these days.


          • #6
            It's all down to money, who wants to pay for the investments needed? Brand new 300m+ LOA ships are being built with the most basic of equipment including bridge equipment that barely meets the minimum requirements and insufficient mooring winches.

            Modern cruise ships are probably operate closer to what you describe, but even then BRM is quite farcical because of the significant skills differential between the OOW's and Captain/Staff Captain.

            It's also quite difficult to compare the airline and maritime industry, there are many significant differences.