ITC Midwest conducting aerial patrols of transmission lines

Published 11:01 am Monday, September 25, 2023

ITC Midwest will be conducting aerial patrols of high-voltage transmission structures and lines throughout its service territory from approximately Oct. 2 to 13, weather permitting. Helicopter patrols provide an overall status of the overhead transmission system owned and operated by ITC Midwest.

The flights will be conducted in the Asbury, Dubuque, Independence, Key West, Lansing and Mason City areas in Iowa, as well as around Galena, Illinois. In addition, aerial patrols will be flown around the Minnesota communities of Adams, Fairmont, Glenville, Harmony, Hayward, Jackson, Luverne, Sherburn and Winnebago.
Iowa counties in the aerial patrol areas include Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dickinson, Dubuque, Fayette, Franklin, Hancock, Howard, Jackson, Mitchell, Osceola, Winnebago and Worth. In addition, aerial patrols will be flown in Faribault, Fillmore, Jackson, Martin, Mower, Nobles and Rock counties in Minnesota, and Jo Davies County in Illinois.

These patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corporation requirement for ITC Midwest’s vegetation management program, support proactive maintenance objectives, and align with the company’s model for operational excellence. The flights will include the inspection of vegetation in the vicinity of transmission structures, wood poles, conductors (wires), insulators and other equipment.

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The inspection flights are often conducted at low altitudes to facilitate accurate visual inspection of vegetation hazards. 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.