NIE helicopter takes to the skies

The NIE helicopter will be taking to the skies.
The NIE helicopter will be taking to the skies.

Specialist Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) engineers will be running helicopter patrols over the coming months to identify areas of the power network which need maintenance.

These aerial patrols of over 5,500kms of the electricity network will allow trained observers to identify and record any signs of damage or wear and tear on the lines and equipment that carry electricity.

Alister Fenton, overhead line engineer at NIE, said: “”The power 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 patrols will continue until March 2014 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 the NIE customer helpline on 08457 643 643.