LiDAR and Pole Top Photography

Low flying helicopter to inspect power poles in your area

Low flying helicopters will be used to inspect and take photographs of power poles in rural areas across the Powerco network as shown on the map below.

Helicopter Flight Area

When & Where

The work is being carried out in a number of stages across different Districts/Regions - please check your District/Region below to learn more about when the helicopter will be in your area.

In the event of bad weather, the work will be rescheduled.


Why are we doing this work?

Powerco owns the lines in the areas shown on the map and needs to collect data about the condition of its poles, assets and vegetation encroachments. This survey uses pole top photography and LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology to identify vegetation and any possible disruption issues.

Aethon Aerial Solutions has been contracted by Powerco to undertake this survey, inspection

and audit of its overhead electricity network.  This includes photographing and assessing hardware for defects, assessing hardware for vegetation encroachment and defects and reporting categorised defects to Powerco.

What are we doing?

Low flying helicopters will be used to take high resolution photographs of all power poles in the rural areas indicated on the map. The photos are then reviewed to assess the quality of the poles, crossarms and wires across the network. Please note: That no photos will be taken of people or private land, just Powerco network assets.

The technology enables Powerco to create a 3D digital twin of the network that can be used to assess the current state of the network and make upgrades as needed.

Who is carrying out this work on our behalf?

The vendor selected to carry out this trial is Aethon Aerial Solutions. Local pilots will be contracted to do the work.

How low will the Helicopter fly?

As per Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requirements, the Helicopter will only be flying in open air space, in urban areas this means above 1000 feet and in rural areas above 500 feet.

Why not use drones?

Drones that are currently on the commercial market on are not big enough to support the equipment required to carry out the type of work we are conducting.

A drone lacks the ability to provide us with the quality and range of photographs we require to assess our assets.

Drones can only last a short period in the air and have a short range before they need to be charged. It would require a human to travel with it on the ground across the network, which would not be efficient. A helicopter can run for several hours and cover a lot more distance.

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns please complete the form below or email us on

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