The port of Newcastle is a compulsory pilotage port. A helicopter is used to embark and disembark pilots in approximately 80% of pilot transfers.
This can be achieved on all vessels except tankers, container vessels, woodchip carriers, and vessels where there is not a clear circular area of 20m, or where weather restrains the ability of the helicopter to fly.
A pilot cutter is used for the remainder of transfers. In this case the pilot climbs the ships ladder up to 9m in height.