“Without security there is no development”, this is how the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Danilo Toninelli began his speech at the National Assembly of the ‘Federazione Italiana Piloti dei Porti’, Fedepiloti. For the Minister, this slogan lies at the basis of the activities pilots have been carrying out for many years. The Minister made a clear statement at the meeting: “We stand by the pilots and we will support you, recognising your extraordinary skills, because you make Italy stand out in some rankings: security in ports.” He continued by saying that operators must be in a position to always operate at their best and emphasised: “It is legitimate that there is competition between shipowners, but competition must not limit security.” Minister Toninelli further explained that pilots, together with the other technical-nautical services, are called to meet primary needs of public nature, such as the security of navigation in port water areas, the safeguarding of the life and integrity of people, port operations within 24 hours, the conservation of existing infrastructures and, consequently, the protection of the marine environment. For this reason, he added, the government firmly believes that the legitimate competition between shipowners must work with other indicators and on another terrain, without in any way altering or compromising security standards.
Francesco Bandiera, President of Fedepiloti, pointed out the following: “For us, pilotage remains a world of discipline, responsibility and ability to deal with high-risk situations that require a high level of operability and security.” Vice-Minister Edoardo Rixi, Raffaella Paita, Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Admiral Giovanni Pettorino and Paolo Uggè, Vice-President of Confcommercio and of Conftrasporto, also attended the National Assembly among many other prominent members of the Italian transport community. Prof. Sergio Maria Carbone underlined that the pilots' point of view also extends to other technical nautical services; the fees must be paid by the users because they find themselves benefiting from the access and 24h opening of the ports. Pilotage is actually an efficient service to be safeguarded, in a form that is common to many EU ports, he said, but with a tariff system that must be updated with principles of transparency, clarity and proportionality.
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