Ausgrid begins annual bushfire helicopter safety patrols

Ausgrid begins annual bushfire helicopter safety patrols 16 Apr, 18, Source: Ausgrid
Ausgrid crews are beginning annual helicopter patrols this week to inspect the electricity network for any potential bushfire hazards.
This year two helicopters will be used to inspect areas of our network in bushfire prone parts of Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter.
Ausgrid Chief Operating Officer Trevor Armstrong said the flights are the safest and most efficient way to inspect high-voltage powerlines.
“Safety is our number one priority and these patrols are a key part of our annual bushfire safety program to identify and rectify any potential defects that might pose a bushfire risk.
“This year for the first time we are using two helicopters at the same time and this will allow the patrols to be finished by the end of June well before the start of bushfire season in October.
“The helicopter crews will be using laser scanning equipment and taking high-resolution photographs to identify any hazards on our poles and wires and trees growing too close to powerlines”, Mr Armstrong said.
Ausgrid will remove or repair any hazards identified on our network during the patrols.
The patrols will also be used to map private poles and powerlines and identify any potential risk in those locations.
If risks are identified on private poles or powerlines Ausgrid will notify property owners they will need to repair any defects using qualified contractors.
The helicopters fly between 15 and 35 kilometres per hour and have been modified to allow for the quietest operation possible.
Flights will begin in Sydney’s south on Monday April 9 before moving to Sydney’s north and the Central Coast while patrols in the Hunter will start on April 30.
Crews will be in the air from about 7.30am to 5.30pm, weather permitting, and may fly low at times, which can startle livestock in rural areas.

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