Bureau Veritas, which specializes in verification, inspection and certification services, considers the drones “already mature and ready to be used in periodic ship surveys” and assures that the use of these devices is “a great advance for the future of classification”.

The company made the announcement after completing the intermediate survey of a bulk carrier using drones for the close-up inspection of two cargo holds and for the associated thickness measurement (UTM). It explains that this survey met all the requirements of the IMO ESP code on the enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of bulk carriers and tankers. In addition, it was authorised by the ship’s flag State.

“We are ready to offer naval inspections with drones anywhere in the world,” says Laurent Leblanc, senior vice president of Technical and Operations at Bureau Veritas, who says the drones increase “the level of detail and safety of our services”.

“This is undoubtedly another milestone in Bureau Veritas’ global digital classification strategy, with our constant commitment to using cutting-edge, state-of-the-art technology, which helps us continue to transform the way we operate in order to benefit our clients,” notes Leblanc.

Bureau Veritas explains that, compared to traditional inspection practice, drones provide time and cost optimization; safer conditions for the company’s staff and its clients; improved inspection quality and traceability in assessing the condition of the structure; and a reduction in the period of ship detention.