Xcel gets FAA’s OK to inspect remote powerlines with drones

<p>(Courtesy Skyler Jokiel/<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">Flickr/Creative Commons</a>)</p>
Photo: Power line (Flickr/CC)

320,000 miles of power lines, along with plants, substations and natural gas pipelines. The FAA has signed off on the plan, which the power company says will make inspecting hard-to-reach places safer for employees, and will minimize damage in environmentally sensitive areas. The drones will not be used in populated areas or near airports and will be flown at low altitudes within the operator’s line of sight.