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New board members in place at the French Maritime Pilots’ Federation

A new executive team has been appointed to the French Maritime Pilots’ Federation, based in Paris, bringing together leadership focused on establishing priorities to deliver innovation and modernization as well as to promote and advance security in the maritime sector, within the French national and overseas waters. The national election that was held in May 2021 welcomed Henry Caubrière, from the Le Havre pilot station, as President and Andre Gaillard, from the Marseilles pilot station, as Secretary-General.


Henry Caubrière, a native of Honfleur, Normandy, studied at the National Merchant Marine Academy in Le Havre, earned his Unlimited Master’s License in 1994 and became a maritime pilot of Le Havre/Antifer/Fécamp Pilot Station in 1999. His successive positions within the Le Havre pilot station have been numerous and multi-skilled. He was first Project Leader overseeing the creation of the pilot manoeuvring simulator. He then held the positions of Chief of Seagoing Personnel and Workshop Supervisor. Finally, Mr. Caubrière became Director of Helicopter Services and then Vice-President of his pilot station before joining the Federation in 2020 as Secretary-General.


André Gaillard, from southern France, entered the National Merchant Marine Academy in Marseilles in 1991 and earned his Unlimited Master’s License in 2001. He became a marine pilot of the Marseilles/Fos ports in 2003, as well as the ports of Nice/Cannes/Villefranche in 2008. Elected as president of the Nice pilot station in 2015, he held the position until 2020. Alongside his pilot duties, he was also elected president of the “Union Maritime 06” in 2018 (an association bringing together professionals from the local maritime world).


  • Upon their assumption of duty, Mr. Caubrière and Mr. Gaillard recently declared their willingness and readiness to work in close collaboration with the Ministries of Health and Transportation to ensure a cohesive COVID vaccination program for the entire maritime branch.
  • The new team is also collecting statistics on non-compliant pilot ladders and the resulting accidents, with the aim of proposing possible solutions to the identified challenges.
  • They are also creating a national training program on Man-Over-Board Recovery as well as pilot ladder climbing techniques for training pilots and newly recruited pilot boat crew.
  • Additionally, Mr. Caubrière and Mr. Gaillard are overseeing a workshop to assist all French pilot stations in the transition to digital technology, the expansion of maritime cybersecurity, and in harnessing communication technologies to support cooperation, quality and risk management measures.
  • Particular attention will also be given to developments in remote pilotage, autonomous seafaring vessels, augmented intelligence tools and AI, focusing on the logistical, regulatory and financial aspects that could affect the shipping industry of the future.
  • In addition to promoting the pilot profession, the newly elected team brings a broader vision to the maritime sector by advocating for the modernization of the French port infrastructures and by supporting the maritime transport sector as a whole. One of their goals is to inform the public and advise elected officials about the positive environmental attributes of marine trade, as the least polluting mode of transportation per tonnage or per passenger, while promoting green technology solutions.
  • The French Federation is firmly committed to promote long-term decarbonization, working with the Ministry of Transportation and participating in the Ministry of the Sea’s Fontenoy du Maritime Project, with the goal to reduce the CO2 emissions of the pilot boat fleet by researching environmentally friendly technologies such as bio-fuels and hybrid, electric and hydrogen powered pilot boats.