NIE Networks to undertake helicopter patrols

Specialist NIE Network (NIE) engineers will be running helicopter patrols over the next three weeks to identify areas of the electricity network which may need maintenance

Aerial patrols will take place on circa 1,600km of electricity network and trained engineers will identify and record any signs of damage or wear and tear on the overhead lines, tower structures and electrical equipment.

Paul Morrow, Overhead Lines Lead Engineer for NIE Networks, said: “The overhead line network in Northern Ireland has the highest ratio of rural overhead lines per customer in the UK, apart from the remote Scottish Highlands.

“We employ a helicopter as it is the quickest and most effective way of inspecting the lines and directing maintenance crews to carry out further detailed checks and repairs.

The helicopter at rest
The helicopter at rest
The helicopter at rest

“This helps us to provide reliable and sustainable supply to the 900,000 homes and businesses across Northern Ireland.”

“The patrols will continue until mid-December and will fly most days dependent on the weather.

"People can follow @NIElectricity on Twitter to find out when the helicopter will be in their area.”

Any landowners with concerns about livestock or animals should contact NIE's Customer Helpline on 03457 643 643 or follow NIE on Twitter @NIElectricity for details of the inspection schedule.

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks (NIE Networks) is the owner of the electricity transmission and distribution networks in Northern Ireland, transporting electricity to over 900,000 customers including homes, businesses and farms.