A look at an HAI member up close and personal.
Established in 1998, Blountville, Tennessee–based Air2 provides helicopter-assisted utility construction and maintenance services for extra–high voltage (EHV) transmission lines throughout North America. According to the company’s website, Air2’s work is managed by a leadership team with more than 100 years of combined working experience providing construction, maintenance, emergency response, and inspection services for utility companies.
Air2 operates a fleet of MD 500 helicopters flown by specialized airborne crews, each of which comprises a pilot, full-time mechanic, and line crew.
Full Focus on Safety Training
Due to its specialized work in not only aviation but also power lines, Air2 puts considerable work into focusing on safety, maintaining continuous safety training and certification among its staff. All employees attend a three-and-a-half-day orientation course that includes training from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and US Department of Transportation, as well as job-briefing training and CPR and first aid.
Air2 has developed a custom, 8,000-hour US Department of Labor–approved apprentice training program to increase safety. Launched in 2012, the program trains line maintainers toward their journeyman certification. Focus areas include elevated work, transmission, transformers, hot-line work, power delivery equipment, and crew leadership—all with an emphasis on safety and protection.
In addition, Air2 employees receive recurrent PowerSafe standardized safety training, a comprehensive training and verification program for utility contractors administered by the Alliance Safety Council. The program, created to provide a proven system of quality standardized training, universally accepted identification cards, Internet-accessible training records, and personnel verification, includes detailed site-specific safety plans that cover step-by-step work procedures, environmental considerations, and congested-area methods.
A Group of Companies
Air2 was acquired in 2010 by Power Line Services and joined Auger Services, TESSCO Industrial Services, TESSCO Energy, and Sun-Electric to form a select group of construction service providers to the electric infrastructure industry. PLH Group was formed two years later to combine pipeline and power-line companies to deliver integrated services for major utilities, regional cooperatives, oil field owners and operators, and renewable-energy developers. As part of PLH Group, Air2 today partners with sister companies Power Line Services, Edison Power Constructors, Sun-Electric, TESSCO, TTR Substations, and Auger Services to offer a full range of power-line services.