15 October 2012A low-flying helicopter will take to the skies on Wednesday, 17 October (weather permitting) in the Ingham area to carry out routine maintenance inspections of Powerlink Queensland’s high voltage transmission lines, in preparation for the upcoming summer season. Powerlink Chief Executive Merryn York said the aerial patrols were being undertaken as part of Powerlink’s annual summer readiness activities to ensure the safety and reliability of the transmission network during storm and cyclone season. Ms York said patrols were expected to take place around the Bruce Highway between Ingham and Cardwell, including the Damper Creek area. “These helicopter inspections will enable our specialist field crews to accurately and efficiently examine our transmission lines – particularly those located in remote or inaccessible areas – and identify any maintenance that may be required,” Ms York said. “As with all of our activities, we want to minimise any potential disturbance to local communities near our infrastructure,” she said. She said the helicopter pilot would endeavour to maintain the maximum distance practically possible from houses, livestock and crops, and be as quick and non-disruptive as possible. “Local residents may see the helicopter moving relatively quickly and at a low level along the transmission lines, and in some instances, the helicopter may need to pause to enable closer inspection of the lines. “We understand that low-flying helicopters have the potential to startle some livestock such as horses and cattle, and encourage people with any questions about the patrols to contact us for further information. “We appreciate the cooperation and patience of the local community while this essential work is carried out,” she said. Ms York said preparations for the upcoming summer were ongoing and included activities such as resource planning, emergency exercises, vegetation management, and inspections and maintenance of transmission lines and substations. Further information about Powerlink’s helicopter patrols and maintenance activities can be obtained by phoning FREECALL 1800 635 369 (during business hours) or by visiting www.powerlink.com.au (go to ‘Landowners and Property/Helicopter activities’).