SGS in the Netherlands has been granted approval from the Dutch Civil Aviation Authority (ILenT) to conduct commercial flights with drones, or RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems).

This new capability will enable SGS to enhance the delivery of existing services, such as remote visual inspection of industrial installations, volume measurements, structural inspection and thermal imaging.

The use of drone technology in inspection and verification activities is growing rapidly as the data generated provides a key role in successful service delivery. Aligned with SGS TIC 4.0 initiative, the inspection data captured during flights is processed using advanced data analytics to support knowledge-based decision making. SGS’ TIC 4.0 & Digitalization strategy aims to position the Group as a global leader in developing safe, effective and profitable solutions for our clients based on the recent major technology trends; including big data, smart sensors and virtual communities amongst others.

Concern over the use of drones and their impact on civil and commercial aviation is rising, but SGS has worked closely with the Dutch CAA to ensure that safety is a priority. As a result, SGS drones only operate in a safe environment to assess asset integrity and provide data to reduce the risk of failures. "Receiving a remark from the Dutch CAA that our internal requirements were over the top, was a compliment and a proof of achievement in raising the bar in terms of aviation safety”, said Luiz Curado, Head of IND RPAS Initiative.

SGS in the Netherlands has implemented its expansion of drone technology as it is recognized as a global competence center for non-destructive testing (NDT), especially in the field of advanced NDT applications.

SGS is also using drone technology in other territories to deliver services such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Taiwan and precision agriculture in South Africa and Brazil. In addition to drone operation, SGS also provides consultancy, audits and training for operators and users of drone services.

For further information, please contact:

Luiz Felippe Curado
Head of RPAS Initiative for Industrial
SGS SA, 1211 Geneva 1
t: +31 70 312 49 60

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 85,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,800 offices and laboratories around the world.