Aerial marker trial to improve powerline visibility

Essential Energy has been working with the Aerial Application Association of Australia and aviation operators to trial new powerline markers to make the power network more visible to pilots.

Essential Energy has been working with the Aerial Application Association of Australia and aviation operators to trial new powerline markers to make the power network more visible to pilots.

Essential Energy has been working with the Aerial Application Association of Australia (AAAA) and aviation operators to trial new powerline markers to make the power network more visible to pilots.

Manager community relations Northern, David Crough, said the trial was to identify the best available marker to improve powerline visibility and minimise the risk of accidents.

“Essential Energy together with AAAA has been assessing different coloured markers and spacing options along powerlines to identify the most effective and prominent visual warning for pilots. The trial provided valuable feedback about what the pilot sees when approaching a marked powerline and which coloured indicators are most effective,” Mr Crough said.

The powerline marker trial was conducted just outside of Moree in NSW. Information gathered will also inform the review of the Australian Standard (AS 3891-2) for permanent and temporary marking of overhead for low level flying activities under 90 metres.

“The powerline marking trial is a great reminder to pilots and property owners to be aware of potential hazards posed by overhead powerlines,” Mr Crough said.

“It’s important to stay vigilant around the overhead network as powerline heights vary due to changing topology and extreme heat, while wind can cause lines to sway. Visibility can also reduce at dawn and dusk and on rainy or overcast days,” Mr Crough added.

Anyone using aircraft for spray application, mustering, property or powerline inspections should be aware of the location of overhead powerlines before take-off.

AAAA Chief Executive Officer Phil Hurst said, “Powerline marking is a practical, cost-effective measure now available to any landholder. If your farm includes aircraft or large farm machinery, safety will be improved by powerline markers.”

“The Aerial Application Association of Australia congratulations Essential Energy for taking yet another step forward with their safety partners to reduce powerline strikes,” Mr Hurst said.

Essential Energy can install powerline markers on properties where aerial activities occur for a reasonable cost and provide free maps detailing its overhead electricity network.

To report an incident involving the power network, contact Essential Energy immediately on 13 20 80