Transgrid takes to the sky for annual bushfire inspections

A helicopter conducts bushfire inspections above high-voltage powerlines (transgrid)
Image: Transgrid

Network operator Transgrid has begun aerial inspections for 2023 with a specialist helicopter crew inspecting high-voltage electricity transmission lines as part of the network’s annual bushfire safety program. 

The helicopter inspections will begin flights across parts of the ACT, Snowy Mountains and Southern Highlands and the Illawarra/Shoalhaven regions before moving to other parts of NSW. 

Related article: Transgrid supercharges bushfire safety for summer 

Transgrid general manager of maintenance Ian Davidson said, “Transgrid takes the risk of bushfires very seriously and the safety of our people and local communities around our network is our highest priority. 

“Every year we commit significant resources to inspect the network and carry out any necessary vegetation management and maintenance work to reduce the risk of bushfires in the lead up to summer,” he said. 

The comprehensive inspections help identify any potential bushfire risks and assess the condition of towers and transmission lines. 

Between March and August, specialist teams will inspect transmission lines and infrastructure on Transgrid’s 13,000km network—equivalent to the distance from Sydney to Mexico City—to help identify trees or vegetation growing too close to lines and check for any maintenance issues. 

“People may see the helicopter flying along transmission lines so crews can inspect them and take photos to help identify any potential issues so we can proactively respond to addressing any bushfire risks. 

Related article: Australia’s first helicopter flight using sustainable fuel

“We’d like to thank the community for their patience and understanding as we carry out these critical inspections to keep everyone safe,” Davidson said. 

The helicopter will fly above transmission lines at about 50km per hour. 

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