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Port of London Authority updates General Directions for Navigation

9 April 2021

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has updated its General Directions for Navigation in the Port of London following a consultation during summer 2020.

The renewed document came into effect on Monday 1 March 2021, superseding the 2016 version, which should no longer be used.

PLA senior harbour master Cathryn Spain said: 'We encourage all river users to review the updated General Directions (GD) document closely. Amendments include the introduction of new directions, as well as amendments to previous ones.'

The key changes in the new 2021 version relate to:

  • a consolidation of requirements for the provision of passage plans/ formal risk assessments (GD 4)
  • a consolidation of requirements for VHF carriage and use (GD 12)
  • new requirements for the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (GD 27)
  • additional lighting requirements for vessels engaged in pushing operations when underway by night (GD 31)
  • a new requirement for commercial intra-port vessels to register with the PLA, from 31 December 2021 (GD 32)
  • a new requirement for manning for vessels over 50m except ‘dumb’ vessels (GD 33)

The document has also been restructured for ease of reference. In addition, the terminology used has been standardised, to ensure a more consistent approach.

As part of the 2021 review, all existing Permanent Notices to Mariners have been withdrawn.