Vessel Traffic Service (VTS)

The Plymouth Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), managed by the VTS Movements Manager, role is to offer traffic organisation and navigational assistance within its area of jurisdiction, co-ordinating shipping movements with berth allocation and the availability of other services, including pilotage, with which there is continuous contact.

The port hosts 2 Port Control Stations (PCS), Flag Port Control Station (Flag) which oversees movements and operations in the Hamoaze, and the Longroom Port Control Station (Longroom) which manages the moves into and out of the port and the Sound. The VTS Supervisor (VTSS) manages all traffic within the Dockyard Port of Plymouth supported by the VTS Operator(VTSO) at Longroom and Flag and during the core working day the Royal Naval Communications Senior Rate (RNCSR). The VTSS carries the authority of KHM and is authorised to act as statutory harbourmaster for the purposes of issuing a Direction to a ship's master. He is supported by a duty King's Harbour Master which may be KHM, his Deputy (DKHM), the Chief Admiralty Pilot Port Operations Manager (CAP POM) or Marine Services Superintendent (MSS).

The service is based on four radar sites with an integrated VHF radio system and CCTV network. The Port Control Stations have their own emergency power supply for vital equipment and systems; should there be a system failure in either PCS, the other can assume the duties of both.

The VTS is part of the wider Vessel Traffic Management and Information Service which is the heart of the Port’s day-to-day activities. Harbour control activities include keeping radar and radio watch and co-ordinating shipping movements; this management of vessel traffic involves the transit of vessels including nuclear powered submarines, civil tankers, continental ferries, cruise ships and coasters – all of which transit a relatively narrow and constraining tidal channel before they manoeuvre into berths.

Longroom also incorporates a separate Incident Control Room, which is equipped to deal with any maritime emergency.

More Links

VTS Bunkering

VTS Dangerous Goods