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Drone carrying out inspections of TLC-owned assets

TLC deploy drones for remote monitoring of assets

18 February 2023

During February, March and April, The Lines Company (TLC) will commence an aerial-based survey of parts of the network using drone technology to inspect power lines, power poles, cross arms, and other equipment.

The inspection is both a reactive and pre-emptive measure with the high-resolution video footage being used to help identify areas needing maintenance, repairs or even replacement of structures and equipment – keeping your lights on. It will also help us to keep our community and workers safe.

TLC Acting General Manager Network Craig Hackett says the drone inspections are an important part of operating and safe, reliable and efficient network and will provide a more detailed view of the damage done to infrastructure during Cyclone Gabrielle.

“Drones can provide us with a comprehensive condition assessment for assets. Essentially taking footage to safely, quickly and easily check the condition of our equipment and identify any issues that need fixing. This allows us to keep everyone connected to power lines and equipment in good working order and maintain a reliable power supply.”

“Using drones, we can also cover kilometres of power lines quicker than technicians on the ground, this saves a heap of time and resources, and means we can access those tricky to reach places relatively easily.”

Weather dependent, TLC’s Civil Aviation Authority authorised contractor will complete the survey over a number of weeks – rapidly flying TLC-owned lines and infrastructure only taking footage of equipment, not of private property, people or livestock.

The timing of the inspections is scheduled to take place outside the traditional lambing and calving seasons, minimising disruption to farmers. Residents may wish to move horses and livestock away from power lines and equipment during the inspection timeframe.

The schedule is:

  • Taupō Feeder (Tūrangi) – 23 to 25 February (1 week)
  • Mōkau Feeder (Mōkau North) – 1 March through to 17 March (3 weeks)
  • Northern Feeder (Taumaraunui) – 20 March through to 31 March (2 weeks)
  • Taupō Feeder (Tūrangi) – 3 April through to 5 April (1 week)

Due to changes in flying conditions, this schedule may change without notice.

If the drone needs to access private property, we will contact those landowners in writing at least two weeks prior to the survey commencing.

For more information contact