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AltaLink takes to the sky

Each year, members of AltaLink’s Asset Management team perform aerial patrols on various sections of our transmission system. Done by helicopter, these patrols allow AltaLink to take a proactive approach to maintenance, and to target any potential issues before they become major problems.

“Aerial patrols are a necessary part of our asset management program,” says Dana Cormier, Transmission Line Specialist. “By preparing in advance, and addressing trouble areas quickly, we are able to keep the lights on for Albertans.”

There are four Transmission Line Specialists at AltaLink, two in the north and two in the south. Each group patrols their entire areas to look at each structure. Patrols of our lines in the Bow Valley and Banff/Canmore areas are done on an annual basis because the area is difficult to access from the ground, and the amount of trees could cause problems. Additional “peek patrols” are usually done in December, to ensure there will be no issues over the holidays. Routes for peek patrols may change each year, depending on where we are having issues at the time.

The 2012 patrols will begin on August 31 and conclude September 17, and will evaluate almost 3,000 kilometres of line in eight days, which is about 20% of AltaLink’s system.