ITC to conduct aerial patrols of transmission lines

Published 9:01 pm Thursday, September 26, 2019

ITC will be conducting semi-annual aerial patrols of high-voltage transmission structures and lines throughout its service territory from approximately Sunday through Oct. 14, 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. The flights will be conducted in the Independence, Mason City and Lansing, Iowa, areas as well as the following cities in Minnesota: Adams, Fairmont, Harmony, Jackson, Luverne, Sherburn and Winnebago. Counties in the aerial patrol areas include Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Dickinson, Fayette, Franklin, Hancock, Howard, Kossuth, Mitchell, Osceola, Winnebago and Worth in Iowa, as well as Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Jackson, Martin, Mower, Nobles and Rock 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.

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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 advised this is normal procedure, so people should not be alarmed if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines during the time frame listed.