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Pilotage


Our team of over 100 pilots board and guide more than 10,000 ships through the Port of London every year.

The PLA's Pilots are an essential component of the Port of London and their safety is of paramount concern. That safety begins with intensive training both on and off the Thames.

We use an immersive pilot simulator that is designed to continuously train and assess pilots to maintain quality and skills in the industry.
Our Pilotage department ensures the effective and economic provision of pilotage services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The services of a pilot can be requested by the master of any vessel irrespective of whether Pilotage is compulsory.
A PEC may be granted to a vessel’s master when they fulfil criteria showing a capacity to safely manage their vessel.

This area of the site is reserved for registered Port of London Authority pilots.

Contact information for our Pilotage management team.

Current costs associated with our services can be found in the PLA Charges 2021.

Become a PLA Pilot


Would you like to pilot some of the biggest ships in the world along one of the world’s most famous rivers?
It’s a challenging career that requires rigour, determination and commitment.
Find out what some recent joiners have to say about the job.
Training and career development is a continuous focus for our Pilots.
Frequently asked questions about a career as a PLA Pilot.
The role means a long and rewarding career on the tidal River Thames.
Our recruitment process has four stages to ensure that candidates are well-suited to a demanding role.