Cape Town has traditionally used pilot boats to transfer marine pilots to and from vessels and the introduction of a helicopter service aims to mitigate the negative effect on port operations and service in Cape Town caused by weather-related disruptions and high swell conditions.


The Authority conducted a physical testing of the marine helicopter operation from 28 September to 5 October at the port using a helicopter that services the Port of Durban. The test showed that the use helicopters to transfer marine pilots is a viable service for the Port.

During a forum in Cape Town earlier in 2018, TNPA COO Nozipho Mdawe informed that the process of the feasibility study would include TNPA engaging with major customers to establish their level of interest and to test whether the service cost would be acceptable.