Bushfire aerial patrols

Helicopters are used to survey powerlines between February and July each year as part of our annual bushfire safety preparations. These aerial patrols help prevent bushfires by identifying where we need to repair equipment or prune trees a safe distance from powerlines before the official start of the bushfire season.

Why we use helicopters

The Endeavour Energy network includes 13,000 kilometres of powerlines spread often across rugged terrain. Helicopters are a safe and efficient way to survey powerlines and inspect otherwise inaccessible areas. The bird’s-eye view from the air permits a better inspection of equipment on the top of poles that is otherwise not visible from the ground. Watch our video below to see why helicopter patrols are important.

What you will see

Helicopters are identified with signage that says “Power Line Patrol” and “Endeavour Energy Contractor”. We conduct the surveys using light detection and ranging technology which provides a more thorough inspection that produces detailed data that can be thoroughly analysed afterwards.

During patrols, we are mindful of protecting people’s privacy and limit data capture to images of the network. Using the data captured, we can dentify where defects exist and coordinate maintenance crews to complete repairs. Where data cannot be taken from the air, ground crews will be utilised to capture this information.

Inspection criteria

Endeavour Energy will inspect all powerlines up to each customer's main switchboard. Property owners, are responsible for the safely and maintenance of the private poles, wire and other electrical infrastructure and will be notified should defects be found during this inspection program.

Flight schedule

The map and schedule below shows when bushfire aerial patrols are planned in your area. As the use of helicopters is dependent on weather conditions, please note this schedule is subject to revision without notice and the aircraft may need to return to an area with limited notice.

This schedule is subject to revision without notice as the use of helicopters is dependent on weather conditions. There may be a requirement for the aircraft to return to an area with limited notice to conduct additional flights.  
Aircraft will be utilised in all areas where more favourable weather condition may exist between February and July.

flight schedule map

1Mid-Western Council5 March - 18 March
2Lithgow City Council18 February - 4 March
3Hawkesbury Council27 March - 18 April
4Blue Mountains Council13 February - 4 April
5Penrith City Council22 April - 1 May
6Blacktown/Baulkham Hills Council29 April  - 22 May
7Parramatta City Council24 April – 26 April 
8Liverpool City Council11 May - 29 May
9Wollondilly Shire Council9 April - 28 April 
10Campbelltown/Camden29 April - 4 May 
11Wollongong City Council12 April -  19 May
12Wingecarribee Shire Council12 March - 11 April 
13Shellharbour/Kiama Council20 May - 26 May
14Shoalhaven Council /Nowra21 February - 11 March
15Shoalhaven Council/Ulladulla13 February - 2 March

More information

We maintain a list of registered customers to be notified by phone two business days before flights near their property to minimise inconvenience to residents and livestock during aerial surveys.

To receive more information, or be registered on the pre-flight contact list, please call 133 718 during business hours or via email.