Four (4) PNG Power Limited (PPL) engineers graduated last Thursday, October 27, with Certificates in Remote Drone Pilot at a small ceremony at the Lamana Hotel in Port Moresby.
The four who work under the Asset Management and Transmission and Distributions Business Units are the first in the company to be certified as drone pilots.
They are trained and certified to competently operate PPL’s own drones to carry out aerial inspections and condition monitoring for the transmission and distribution assets using the drone technology.
The use of drones as part of PPL’s operations will substantially reduce risks to inspection and maintenance teams, and reduce associated maintenance costs and represents a milestone achievement for PPL.
The four certified drone pilots are Esrom Passingan, Benjamín Pupu, Billy Ambotane and Albert Laliana.
The training included nine (9) online module courses provided by Infra Vision, an Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority certified company that specializes in aerial construction and maintenance.
The drone pilots were certified after completing three (3) weeks of online training and one (1) week practical flight training.
CEO Mr. Obed Batia said “PPL are always looking for ways to improve our operations through the adoption of innovations and new technology”.
“This represents an investment for the company as the drones will drastically cut the costs of powerline inspections. More importantly, it reduces the risk to our hardworking field crews responsible for transmission and distribution line inspection and maintenance,” said Mr. Batia.
Regular aerial inspection will assist in improving the supply of power and reducing the likelihood of unscheduled outages.
PPL will continue to invest in sustainable programs, technology to improve on its operations across the nation. The drone technology can also assist engineers in the process of designing the electricity supply infrastructure.
PPL has acquired two drones: a commercial MTK 210 Drone and a Mavic 3 Drone, which will be utlised across PPL’s major grid networks.
Source: PNG Power Ltd