Helicopter patrols signal start of bushfire safety preparations

Helicopter patrols signal start of bushfire safety preparations

Residents across the Blue Mountains can expect to see helicopters patrolling powerlines in coming weeks as part of Endeavour Energy's pre-summer bushfire preparations.

"We'll inspect 163,000 power poles in bushfire prone areas this year to keep the community safe and the network reliable over summer," said Endeavour Energy's general manager operations, Scott Ryan.

"Aerial patrols provide a platform for a very thorough examination of the condition of the hardware on the top of poles or where trees are too close to powerlines.

"By undertaking the inspections now, we can efficiently program maintenance to be completed ahead of the upcoming bushfire season."

Mr Ryan said the patrols would be undertaken by helicopters flying between 200 and 400 metres above the ground at a speed of about 40 kilometres per hour.

"The helicopters can be identified by signage underneath saying 'Power Line Patrol' as well as having 'Endeavour Energy Contractor' on the side of their fuselage.

"The helicopters are fitted with light detection and ranging technology and take high-resolution photographs of the tops of poles, which can be reviewed in detail after the patrol has been flown," said Mr Ryan.

"By completing the patrols from the air, we get a more thorough inspection of the condition of the hardware at the top of poles and can efficiently inspect powerlines inaccessible to vehicles."

Mr Ryan said Endeavour Energy had employed measures to minimise the noise impacting customers and the community.

"Farmers, animal breeders and other customers concerned about the noise from the helicopters can receive advance notice to be able move animals away from the patrols near their properties.

"Please call us on 133 718 if you would like to be added to our database where customers who receive prior notification ahead of patrols being flown near their property."

More information about when and where helicopter patrols will be undertaken is available at www.endeavourenergy.com.au/aerialpatrols. This schedule is subject to revision depending on weather conditions.