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Speeches

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AMERICAN PILOTS ASSOCIATION (APA)

 MARK H. BUZBY

MARITIME ADMINISTRATOR

AMERICAN PILOTS ASSOCIATION (APA)

HYATT REGENCY SAVANNAH
TWO WEST BAY STREET
SAVANNAH, GA

OCT. 3, 2018

8:30-9:30 AM

Administrator’s experience with Pilots Associations

During my time in the navy and since coming to MARAD, I have worked and interacted with many pilots at numerous ports — and spent time with members of many pilot’s associations.

Have always held pilots in very high esteem for their professionalism and courage.

Have given out numerous meritorious service awards to U.S. Pilots for selfless acts of courage and service in crises.

Have USMMA friends and former classmates who are now pilots — president of association of Maryland Pilots, Eric Nielsen, and president of the American Pilots Association, Jorge J. Viso, are good friends and USMMA classmates.

I want to give the pilots assembled here today the latest news about what’s going on in the industry from MARAD’s perspective.

Jones act

Alive and well, though still some sniping;

CATO institute report

NSMV

MARAD to build a “national security multi-mission vessel” (NSMV) to help sustain world-class U.S. Maritime sea training.

Quality training of maritime workforce is needed to maintain adequate pool of merchant mariners to crew commercial and government-owned sealift ships for national security.

President’s FY 2019 budget request includes $300 million to support replacement of outdated training ships at state maritime academies.

First NSMV to support training operations at SUNY Maritime College, providing cadets a high-tech, multi-use, multi-functional training platform.

Recent “industry day” event held to help develop final “request for proposal” to hire a “vessel construction manager” to select and hire a qualified shipyard to build this vessel.

Significant and historic process underway.

Marine highways coastwise and inland waterways system is a key to finding cheaper and more efficient ways of transporting cargo as population and freight flows increase.

The only remaining “surface mode” of transportation capable of absorbing this excess freight volume.

MARAD’s focus to get marine highways projects designated, and help applicants gain funding eligibility.

Goal to transform waterborne routes into seamless extensions of our nation’s surface transportation system.

Ten gateway offices and office of ports & waterways provide tools, counsel and assistance to promote U.S. Waterways.

U.S. Department of Transportation and MARAD in 2018 released over $4.8 million in grants to marine highway projects to enhance marine highways now serving ports in Louisiana, Virginia, New York, and Connecticut.

$1.5 billion in “build” grants for capital improvements and port projects.

$19.6 million in “small shipyard grants” to support capital improvements and training at U.S. Shipyards.

Pending legislation on the hill that would put forth a separate pot of money strictly for port development – in which ports wouldn’t have to compete with roads, bridges and highways.

offshore activities

Boom in U.S. oil and gas exports may lead to an increase in number of “VLCCS,” or “very large crude carriers” in international waters off our coast in next five to ten years.

Has led to an increase in requests for licensing of deep-water ports to be built offshore in Texas and Louisiana, ramping up between 2020 to 2024.

Because of these facilities, we expect an increase in construction related ship traffic from coasts into international waters – especially off the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

As a result, it could positively impact jobs for U.S. Maritime Pilots, who could see increased commercial shipping activity.

Something to keep their eye out for.

Ready Reserve Force (RRF)

MARAD’s Ready Reserve Force (or RRF) charged with transport of military unit equipment, combat support equipment, and initial resupply during the critical surge period before commercial ships can be marshaled.

Many of these vessels are anchored in your ports. They’re getting old; average age 43 years.

Thus far doing ok maintaining them, but starting to see budgetary shortfalls in keeping them as ready as we’d like. Challenges down the road in keeping them in operation.

Working with the U.S. navy and USTRANSCOM on recapitalization plan to properly fund maintenance and recapitalization of this fleet.

Currently a “turbo mobilization” – or trial mobilization – underway involving of a number of RRFvessels to test their readiness. One of the larger operations of its kind in some time to assess readiness of our vessels.

AutomationAmerica’s pilots play a pivotal role in the safe operation of America’s ports and waterways, just as the coast guard does, and as branches of the transportation department do on land.

MARAD is committed to dot’s number-one safety priority and is closely monitoring the regulatory development of the automated-vessel operating environment undertaken by IMO.

MARAD supports the coast guard, which represents the united states, to ensure a safe operating environment as operators take steps to introduce autonomous vessels into an environment that will have human-crewed vessels long into the future.

We share concern about autonomous vessels impacting maritime industry. Have no interest in taking mariners off vessels or eliminating good paying jobs.

The advance of technology is continuous.

Some jobs may be lost in the transition, but other good jobs will be created. The challenge is to learn new skill sets and re-train, and MARAD is taking steps to lead the way.

Consistent with that, MARAD has begun to work with the full range of vessel automation interests to the extent automation technology supports our shared interest in safe operations.

If there are going to be automated vessels systems, they should be made and operated in the united states.

We are proceeding carefully, not with the aim of replacing traditional mariners, especially with the potential risk of decreased safety, but with the aim of reinforcing U.S. industry in the global business of vessel automation.

To the extent domestic or foreign operators want to employ state-of-the-art vessel automation technology, they should have to look no further than the united states.

That work should advance the safest possible maritime operating environment.

Updated: Monday, November 19, 2018