The Malta Maritime Pilot Co-op Society Limited has signed a €500,000 agreement with Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) for the upgrade of the Compact Marine Ship Handling Simulator and for a new Safety Study for both Valletta & Marsaxlokk Port. MMRTC is an international hub for the training of maritime pilots, both local and foreign, offering simulator training as well as hands on training.

The upgrade includes the following:

  • The Simulator System Version is being upgraded with the latest version from MARIN, offering improved visual effects of the environmental conditions. More simulation areas will be added to the software, complementing Valletta and Marsaxlokk Port areas, making it possible for Pilots to train themselves in various new and different environments.
  • The secondary bridge, known as the Tug Station will be upgraded into a full blown mission bridge (FMB 2) having 360 degrees visuals, equipped with Automated Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA), a complete ECDIS system and all the controls and instrumentation required to con a vessel, both in open waters and in the confined areas of a port. The new FMB 2 will make use of the latest technology visual projectors, projecting a sharp and colourful image from less that 30 cm from the screen, instead of the traditional LED monitors, thus increasing visibility both in the vertical and in the horizontal plane.
  • An upgrade in the Main Bridge simulator (FMB 1) is also part of this agreement, where a new ARPA and ECDIS will be introduced.

Further to the upgrade to the ship-handling simulator, MMRTC will invest in 6 ECDIS systems to carry out ECDIS Generic training, making it possible to train Pilots in the latest evolving ECDIS systems. The project will be commissioned around the beginning of April.

On commissioning of the Simulator, a Safety Study by the Malta Maritime Pilots, MARIN and Transport Malta for the ports of Valletta and Marsaxlokk will commence. This safety study will define new limits of operations in our Port, taking into consideration the development of new passenger and containerships, the infrastructure, predominant weather conditions, tug power and the human element. The study will consist of a number of runs in various weather condition and different scenarios, where a safe operational limit will be defined for the various types of vessels. All runs will be analysed by MARIN. This will be an official report presented to Transport Malta and to the Malta Maritime Pilots by MARIN.

The safety study will be completed by mid 2013