MPA using drones for ship surveys

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is working on an acceptance criteria for the use of remote inspection techniques in ship surveys, including aerial drones and ship inspecting robots. Trial runs have already been undertaken, according to MPA’s chief executive Andrew Tan.

“Such methods of remote inspection are safer because marine surveyors do not have to put themselves in precarious positions onboard the ship to conduct inspections,” Tan said at a conference in Singapore today. “The use of drones also reduces man hours and costs for ship owners – it is a win-win situation for all.”

Tan said Singapore’s registry needed to stay at the forefront of tech changes to deliver novel solutions to clients.

“IoT, digitalisation 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,” Tan said.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. This sounds interesting. I’d welcome the opportunity to not ever enter a duct keel again. My only reservation would be the reduction of sensitivity. Most of the things of significance that I have found in difficult to access locations on board were not the things I was inspecting. The use of all my senses, and that human ability to spot something that does not fit the pattern, is key to success.

    So, open minded about technology and healthily sceptical about the consequences. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about technological transfer it’s the inevitable discovery of Unintended Consequences.

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