MPA Singapore Turning to Drones for Ship Survey

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is developing the acceptance criteria for the usage of aerial drones for ship survey on board Singapore-registered ships.

The acceptance criteria will be ready by first quarter next year, according to the port authority.

The move was prompted by increasing usage of drones armed with cameras and ship inspecting robots for ship surveys, and several trials using drones to survey cargo ships.

Such methods of remote inspection have been described as safer and time and cost saving for ship-owners as they eliminate the need for the traditional method of survey such as erecting staging in the cargo tanks.

Marine surveyors also do not have to risk their lives by having to climb high places or be exposed to adverse conditions to check for defects.

Furthermore, starting this month the MPA will be introducing several service enhancements for over 4,600 ships flying the Singapore flag.

These will include a 24/7 hotline for urgent assistance relating to crewing, registry and ship’s technical matters. In addition, by the end of this year, in addition to E-Certs issued by recognized organizations, MPA will also issue e-certificates directly to Singapore-registered ships. Singapore-incorporated maritime companies will also receive assistance in the form of training on sustainability reporting, MPA informed.

 “IoT, digitalization and new technologies such as blockchain and smart drones are changing the way we work. To stay ahead, the Singapore Registry of Ships needs to embrace these technologies to offer value-added services to its customer. As a responsible flag administration, we will continue to find new ways to promote clean, efficient and sustainable shipping,” Chief Executive of MPA, Andrew Tan, said.

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