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20 Proceedings Summer 2015 www.uscg.mil/proceedings While VTS personnel provide recommendations on occa- sion (usually in restricted waters), seldom do they direct navigation. More recently in Europe, the VTSs include "traffc control centers." It does not take a great stretch of the imagination, particularly given the preponderance of European vessel traffc services in close proximity to each other, to envision the VTS using route exchange to direct ship movements within and between VTS areas on a large-scale basis. If this route exchange vision is taken beyond VTS areas or territo- rial seas, it becomes sea traffc management. Widespread ship directing beyond vessel traffc service areas does not likely comport with U.S. domestic law, however, and, if attempted in international waters, would appear to fall out- side of freedom of the seas and the right of navigation. The pilot perspective on all this is that the safest route in pilotage waters is the one determined using all means avail- able to the master or pilot, including the one not routinely available with route exchange — the view out the window. Window, Radar, ECDIS Pilotage is a tactical form of visual navigation augmented by electronic navigation. So, the pilot uses the tools in that order: frst the window, then radar, then electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS). Adding to what the pilot knows and sees, the radar is an electronic bird's eye view of the route ahead. Finally, the ECDIS is a depiction of the waterway, perhaps with the addi- tional information of eATON and maritime safety infor- mation. But reliance on the depiction frst, rather than the reality out the window, inverts the tactics; so training in e-Navigation is critical. About the author: Captain Michael Watson is the president of the American Pilots' Associa- tion. He is also a past president of the International Maritime Pilots' Asso- ciation and the Association of Maryland Pilots. He holds a degree in marine transportation from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. In addition to his Maryland state pilot license, he holds licenses as a master of steam and motor vessels, oceans, unlimited tonnage, and U.S. Coast Guard frst class pilot for the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries. Route Exchange, Sea Trafc Management There are a number of e-Navigation test beds, particularly in Europe, that have included in their scope the notion of tactical route exchange. It is benignly referred to as a service that allows mariners to electronically communicate their intended routes to each other and vessel traffc service (VTS) centers. But this notion also has VTS centers assigning the most effcient or safest route to a vessel. In the U.S., vessel traffc services provide information to the ship from which the operators can determine a safe and effcient route. The typical U.S. VTS paradigm is: • inform/advise, • recommend, • direct. Piloting combines local knowledge, navigation skills, technological exper- tise, professional judgment and demeanor, experience, and physical danger.