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Pilot Facility Society "Lotsbetriebsverein"


The sovereign duty of the Pilot Facility Society (PFS) is to maintain the infrastructure for a 24/7 pilot service. This includes pilot boats, crewing, pilot stations, staff, etc.

With abt. 430 employees (about 350 offshore and 80 on land) and 36 pilot boats under German flag the PFS is one of the larger German maritime companies.

Besides that, the PFS maintains 19 shore- and sea-based pilot stations, which are manned throughout the year.

The average age of the vessels amounts 2015 about 15 years. Nearly the half of the ships are younger than 10 years. The oldest one the "Osterriff" was built in 1959, the youngest, the "Visurgis" was built in 2015.

as from 2015

Pilots stations take pilot orders from ships and shipping agencies. For that purpose they are equiped with all modern communication systems to maintain contact to the international customers.

Kiel Light House: a combination
The picture to the right shows Kiel Light House, a combination of a pilot station and a navigational signal. The pilot station is located in the lower recess, the navigation light in the upper recess abt. 29 m (95 ft) above sea level.

A radar antenna is installed on top of the 33 m tower. The construction has a high recognition value for ships approaching Kiel fjord.

Surface transportation

The PFS maintains modern pilot boats at all pilot stations. These boats are especially designed to go alongside ships to bring or pick up pilots. Some boats are pilot stations at the same time.

These boats are also used to bring or pick up pilots to and from far out stations.

Air transportation

In some ares also helicopters are in use for pilot transportation.

To service shore-based pilot stations or change stations the PFS organizes the transport to these locations. Often local taxi companies are involved in this transportation service.


2012 www.bundeslotsenkammer.de