Common Passage Plan
This project is designed to begin to define the water space allocated to recreational and commercial shipping. A report produced in 2020 identified opportunities to assist with risk management in Tory Channel. One recommendation was to consolidate the passage plans used by the ferry operators so that a common approach is followed by all ships and pilots.
There are three operational passage plans within Queen Charlotte Sound. One for each of the ferry companies (Bluebridge and Interislander) and one for Port Marlborough. Although the passages are close, there are differences between them. Guidance provided by the New Zealand Marine Pilots Association 2020 titled ‘Good Practice Guide to Pilotage Planning’ provides recommendations for the development of passage plans within pilotage waters.
Once the common passage plan has been agreed, the intention is to publish it for the benefit of all water users. It is anticipated that the plan will be operational in advance of the new Interislander ferries arriving in New Zealand – the first of two ferries is scheduled for arrival in 2025 and the second in 2026.