Bureau Veritas has confirmed that the drones are now ready for use in periodic ship surveys. The use of these devices is a major advance for the future of classification.

The company has announced that it has completed an intermediate survey of a bulk carrier, using drones for close-up inspection of two cargo holds and associated thickness measurement (UTM). This survey has met all the requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) ESP code on the enhanced survey program for bulk carriers and tankers. In addition, it has been authorised by the ship’s flag State.

According to Laurent Leblanc, senior vice president of Technical and Operations at Bureau Veritas, “We are ready to offer drone ship inspections anywhere in the world. With the drones we increase the level of detail and safety of our services. These advances will benefit our clients and inspectors. This is undoubtedly another milestone in Bureau Veritas’ global digital classification strategy, with a constant focus on the use of state-of-the-art technology, which contributes to further transforming the way we operate to benefit our clients.

Since 2019, the classification society’s own regulations have included remote inspection techniques (RIT). The drone operator is also certified by Bureau Veritas for these RIT and UTM techniques. Compared to traditional inspection practice, the immediate benefits of drones are

  • Time and cost optimization.
  • Safer conditions for Bureau Veritas personnel and their clients, avoiding their exposure to the risks of working at height, as well as entry into confined spaces.
  • Improved inspection quality and traceability in assessing the condition of the structure.
  • Reduction of the period of immobilization of the ship.

Bureau Veritas has carried out all the necessary verifications in this pioneering inspection, which will serve as a model to follow in the implementation of the most advanced inspection techniques, confirming that new technologies provide greater safety and quality in its mission as a classification society. At the same time they offer great advantages for shipowners and shipping companies.