Powerco is using low-flying helicopters to inspect parts of its rural electricity network in Coromandel and South Waikato in December and January.
The work is part of a pole-top photography survey, which Powerco has conducted each summer for the past three years.
From next week until February, Powerco will be using low-flying helicopters to take high-resolution photographs of up to 50,000 power poles, lines and associated hardware on Powerco's electricity network across Taranaki, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Manawatū and Wairarapa.
The work in Coromandel and South Waikato is planned for December 7 to 23, pausing over the Christmas and New Year period, before continuing again from January 2 to 10. In the event of bad weather, this timeframe may be extended.
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It's an efficient and effective way to carry out network inspections to help deliver a safe and reliable power supply to customers, says Powerco customer experience manager Haydn Davies.
"Getting clear, aerial visibility of our network allows us to assess the condition of our assets, check for any potential issues such as vegetation growing into lines, and resolve them before they cause harm or outages."
The helicopters will be flying in only open airspace, above 1000ft in urban areas, and above 500ft in rural areas.
"We work hard to minimise the potential disruption to customers. We strictly follow Civil Aviation Authority regulations and notify customers about the flight paths in advance through a range of advertising including online, print and social media as well as direct communication with local stakeholder and community groups," says Davies.
"We know that low-flying helicopters may disturb some animals or affect people's plans or events, and we encourage any concerned customers to please contact us, so we can alter the flight plan timings if necessary."
For more information about the flight areas, or to ask a question or log a concern, go to www.powerco.co.nz/helicopter