Texas state legislation tasks members of the Port of Corpus Christi Authority’s Port Commission to provide oversight of the Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots.
Chapter 70 of the Texas Transportation Code provides that the Port Corpus Christi Commissioners serve as the Board of Pilot Commissioners for their Ports, with exclusive jurisdiction over the Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots, as they undertake the piloting of vessels in the Port Corpus Christi port facilities.
|•||The Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots serve a crucial role in ensuring safety of vessels at the Port of Corpus Christi by taking direct command or transferring directions to a ship’s captain while navigating the 29-mile long Port Corpus Christi Ship Channel.|
|•||The primary responsibility of a Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilot is to protect the public interest by facilitating the safe and efficient movement of vessels in our state waters along the Port Corpus Christi Ship Channel and La Quinta Channel.|
The Board of Pilot Commissioners, also known as the Pilot Board or Pilot Commission, has a number of statutory duties:
- It approves the number of pilots necessary to provide adequate pilot services for the Port of Corpus Christi.
- It accepts applications for pilot commissions and deputy pilot certificates, and determines whether applicants meet the qualifications for a pilot. Once the Pilot Board determines that an applicant is qualified, his or her application is submitted to the governor for appointment as pilot.
- The Pilot Board establishes pilotage rates. It also approves the locations for pilot stations, establishes times during which pilot services are available, and adopts rules and issue orders to pilots or vessels “when necessary to secure efficient pilot services.”
- The Pilot Board hears and decides complaints relating to pilot conduct. It makes recommendations to the governor when a pilot’s commission or certificate should not be renewed, or should be revoked.
- It can institute investigations and hearings to consider casualties, accidents, or other actions that violate the Aransas-Corpus Christ Pilots Licensing and Regulatory Act.
The Executive Director of the Port of Corpus Christi Authority serves as Secretary to the Pilot Board, and the General Counsel of the Port of Corpus Chrisiti Authority provides legal counsel to the Pilot Board.