Low-flying helicopters to patrol Tampa Electric’s transmission structures
TAMPA, January 24, 2013
Area residents need not be alarmed if they see low-flying helicopters hovering around Tampa Electric transmission poles and towers in the next month. It’s part of the company’s ongoing inspection of transmission equipment.
Work will begin at 8 a.m. Jan. 28 and continue for about 30 days during daylight hours. Crews will survey about 5,200 transmission structures, approximately 23 percent of the system.
A low-flying helicopter will hover for a short time about 150 to 300 feet above the ground near each structure. These inspections are expected to be completed by Feb. 27, weather permitting.
The inspections are taking place along Tampa Electric’s urban and rural rights of way. Some inspections will take place within view of area roads and neighborhoods. Local law enforcement officials will be notified of the inspections.
The company plans to start the project in the Gibsonton, Sun City and Ruskin areas. In coming days, the surveys will reach New Tampa; South, West and East Tampa; Apollo Beach; Brandon; Riverview; Plant City, Mulberry and Winter Haven. Haverfield Aviation, of Gettysburg, Pa., will conduct the inspections.
The inspections are part of the company’s routine transmission maintenance and occur on a six-year cycle.
Tampa Electric Company is the principal subsidiary of TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE: TE), an energy-related holding company with regulated utility operations in Florida, including both Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System . Tampa Electric serves nearly 676,000 customers in West Central Florida. TECO Energy’s other major subsidiary, TECO Coal, owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia.