The equipment - using an autonomous image capture sensor - means more images can be taken along a more direct and higher flightpath than in previous years. Previously the helicopter had to fly low and frequently over some powerlines to get the same quality imagery.
"The newer technology will not only mean a faster delivery of the images but also lessen the impact on people and livestock in the flight path," operational manager Mid North Coast Mathew Reedy said.
"These flights are a crucial part of our broader program to understand the condition of the network so we can identify and repair damaged or deteriorating network assets according to the risk they present."
The helicopter will be used to fly the powerlines in locations throughout the local government areas of Kempsey and Port Macquarie-Hastings.
"Our overall Bushfire Risk Management Plan involves this helicopter-led data capture, other aerial inspections, drone and ground-based asset inspection which is combined with our network analysis to understand and manage risk to ensure the safety and reliability of the network," Mathew said.
The flyover was to take place in late June, but poor flying conditions meant the helicopter flights had to be rescheduled.
Customers can learn more about aerial inspections, including how to arrange for notification before the flights start by visiting www.essentialenergy.com.au/aerial .
If the inspections identify an issue with the Essential Energy network, the network will be repaired according to the risk to network reliability and community safety.