ITC to conduct local fall aerial patrols

Published 10:00 pm Monday, September 24, 2018

ITC will conduct semi-annual aerial patrols of high-voltage transmission structures and lines throughout its service territory through Oct. 5, weather permitting.

According to a press release, helicopter patrols provide an overall status of the overhead transmission system owned and operated by ITC’s Iowa-based operating entity, ITC Midwest LLC.

The aerial inspections will cover the company’s lines in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. 

Counties in the aerial patrol areas include Dickinson, Franklin and Worth in Iowa as well as Freeborn, Faribault and Mower in Minnesota.

These patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corporation requirement for ITC’s vegetation management program, support proactive maintenance objectives and align with the company’s model for operational excellence. They include inspections of steel structures, wood poles, conductors/wires, insulators and other equipment. Crews check for damaged or worn equipment and vegetation hazards.

The inspection flights are often conducted at low altitudes to allow accurate visual inspection of equipment for lightning damage, wear or other potential problems, the release stated.

This is normal procedure, so there is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines during the time frame listed above.