Skip to Main Content

Code of Ethics - Pilots

Work Rules
Executive Summary

Over the years, the Association of Maryland Pilots (the "Association") has developed a detailed system of Operational Rules and Administrative Rules that are intended to provide a framework and protocol for managing the details of the day-to-day operations of the Association. The intention of the Operational Rules is to set forth, by common agreement, the rules for appointing and dispatching pilots. These rules assure that all of the members of the Association will share equally in the provision of pilotage services so that disputes regarding working issues will be substantially reduced and, hopefully, eliminated. The Administrative Rules provide the framework for the operation of the Association, delineate relationships between the Association and individual pilots, and specify services provided by the Association to its members.

Operational Rules and Administrative Rules are created by three possible procedures. The members of the Association may submit a resolution to a vote by all of the full voting members. Similarly, the Association's Board of Supervisors may issue a ruling to resolve a dispute. Additionally, the president of the Association may issue a ruling clarifying how a particular question is to be handled.

The Operational Rules and Administrative Rules are divided into a number of chapters, each dealing with separate subject matters. The Operational Rules chapters include such topics as order of turns, appointment protocols, determination of North Point time and procedures for requesting relief pilots. The Administrative Rules chapters are concerned with matters such as operation of the Association's Board of Supervisors, financial issues and drug testing.

The Operational Rules are intended to deal with the varying factors that impact the delivery of pilotage services by the Association's members in a manner that will equalize the burdens and obligations of performing pilotage duties. For instance, ships are able to sail at differing speeds, and workloads need to be equalized between pilots working jobs on the several segments of the Bay run and those assigned to the C & D Canal run. In the winter, these services also need to be coordinated with the burdens assumed by pilots placed on a separately maintained Ice List.

Operational Rules determine when and where pilots will be appointed to ships and, as appropriate, flown to or from Cape Henry. They include provisions regarding rest periods, when and where relief pilots are to be requested and when such pilots should board or debark. The Operational Rules control how time is to be counted for purposes of placement on the rotation list and how the members of the Association should deal with earned time off, compensatory time, going off duty and sick time. The ultimate goal of the Operational Rules is to remove any disputes between the Association's members concerning their sharing of pilotage assignments and their individual abilities to perform assigned pilotage duties safely and efficiently.

In general, the Operational Rules do not mandate safety in the provision of pilotage services. Rather, they put in place the procedures by which pilots can assure that they will be well rested and ready to undertake their professional duties when their turn comes up for assignment in the rotation list. Each pilot is responsible for making his or her own professional decisions with respect to how a particular assignment will be handled or whether there may be a problem with fatigue or sickness.

The Administrative Rules deal more with the functioning of the Association, its relationships with its member pilots and the services that it will and will not provide to its members. Such rules take the Association beyond its bare statutory role as the collection agent for the member pilots and set up the infrastructure that the member pilots require in order to undertake their pilotage duties.