Pilotage is compulsory in the Port of Darwin pursuant to Northern Territory of Australia Government Gazette notice 4/14 of 4 April 2012.
All vessels 35m in length or greater within the compulsory pilotage area must either carry a licensed pilot or be under the lawful command of a master who holds a pilotage exemption certificate endorsed for the appropriate zones of the port and for the vessels being navigated within them.
Pilotage is compulsory for the port of Darwin:
- north of 12° 25’S for vessels of 200m length or greater and proceeding south of 12° 25’S
- south of 12° 25’S and greater than 35m.
The pilotage area of the port of Darwin is divided into seven zones, known as:
- Zone A - Outer Harbour Zone; bound by a line joining Charles Point and Lee Point through a position 12° 18.2’S 130° 41.1’E, in the north and a line joining Talc Head and Emery Point in the south
- Zone B - City Zone; bound by a line joining Talc Head and eastern end of Stokes Hill Wharf, via Wickham Point, in the south
- Zone C - East Arm Zone; bound by a line joining Wickham Point and the entrance to Reichardt Creek, via the eastern end of Stokes Hill Wharf, in the west and north and a NE/SW line passing though South Shell Island, in the south
- Zone D - Middle Arm Zone; the area of the port upriver of a line joining Talc Head and Wickham Point
- Zone E - Frances Bay Zone; the area of the port north of a line from the eastern end of Stokes Hill Wharf to the entrance to Reichardt Creek
- Zone F - Hudson Bladin Zone; that area of the port upriver of a NE/SW line passing through South Shell Island
- Zone G - Marine Supply Base; connects zone C to the Marine Supply Base (MSB) berths and is specific for exempt seaman for these berths. The zone is bounded by the navigation beacons B03 following the line of the channel until immediately south, south west of B02 and then encompassing the Marine Supply Base beacons.