Bureau Veritas completes first drone survey

Classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) reports that it has completed its first survey by drone, carried out in the holds of a bulk carrier in an Italian port. 

The drone was used during an intermediate survey, conducting close-up inspections and ultrasonic thickness measurements (UTM) in two cargo hold spaces. Prior agreement from the flag authority was acquired prior to the drone deployment, a requirement due to the ship being subject to the IMO Code for an Enhanced Survey Programme (ESP). 

Remote Inspection Techniques (RIT) using drones were included in BV’s rules in 2019. The drone operator involved in this particular survey has already been certified by Bureau Veritas for both RIT and UTM.

“This is another milestone in the Bureau Veritas global strategy of digital classification, using digital technologies to transform the operating model of classification for the benefits of its clients. We are now ready to offer operational surveys using drones anywhere in the world,” said Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice-President, Technical & Operations, BV.

“We will continue to look for innovation and test new ideas, but drone surveys are now going to be part of everyday life for ship surveys. Above all, drones provide a level of detail and new level of safety that will benefit both our clients and our surveyors.”

“Drone surveys and our remote survey capability and service delivery are really just starting to make an impact on our clients. They are a vital development for the future of classification. Now we can both see and decide remotely.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

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