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Transmission Equipment Replacement By Helicopter Lift

Over 3-years Helirig deployed helicopters of varying lift capacity to replace transmission equipment on TV transmitter masts across the UK.

  • Nationwide Delivery — more than 30 sites across all nations of the United Kingdom – Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.
  • Range of Helicopters — on the smaller sites a Squirrel (AS350 B3) with a 1200kg capacity was used, through to a Kamov Ka32 lifting 5000kg for the largest sites.
  • Time Saving — the use of helicopters gave huge time savings on site, helping keep the overall programme of work on time and in budget.
  • Reduced Risk — the time saving on site translates to reduced man-hours working at height, and reduced man-hours at height = reduced risk.

The 700MHz Clearance was a programme of work funded by the UK Govt and managed by Ofcom, involving the removal of all terrestrial digital TV services from the 700Mhz frequency band. All the TV transmitters (the masts that broadcast TV to homes across the UK) that were within this frequency range have had their services relocated to a lower frequency band. The clearance which began in 2017, largely completed in 2020, has freed up spectrum for other uses. The spectrum was auctioned in April 2021 and acquired by the mobile operators for the expansion of 5G networks.

Helirig was called to helicopter lift and replace transmission equipment on many of the masts. Over a 3-year period we deployed helicopters of varying lift capacity to sites as far north as the Shetland Islands and as far South as Redruth in Cornwall, and more than 30 sites in-between.

Arguably the most challenging site was the iconic Emley Moor mast in Yorkshire where a Kamov Ka32 helicopter was used to dismantle old equipment. Almost 2 years later the same helicopter returned, following preparation work on the existing structure, to install the new replacement systems.