Essential Energy is 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 in Moree, NSW.

General Manager Safety, HR and Environment, David Nardi, said the trial would identify the best available marker to improve powerline visibility and minimise the risk of accidents.

“Essential Energy, together with AAAA, is assessing different coloured markers and spacing options along powerlines to identify the most effective and prominent visual warning for pilots,” Mr Nardi said.

“The trial will provide valuable feedback about what the pilot sees when approaching a marked powerline and which coloured indicators are most effective.”

Information gathered will also inform the review of the Australian Standard for permanent and temporary marking of overhead for low level flying activities under 90m.

“With aerial spraying underway in many parts of NSW, the powerline marking trial is a great reminder to pilots and property owners to be aware of potential hazards posed by overhead powerlines,” Mr Nardi 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.

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.”

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. 

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