VIDEO: helicopters lift materials on to Bilsdale TV mast site - here's when your TV could be restored

Materials have begun to be lifted on to the Bilsdale site by helicopter as part of urgent work to build an 80m-high temporary mast.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 11:01 am

The temporary structure will return Freeview TV services to more than 90% of households across the area which were affected by a fire to the original Bilsdale mast last month, with completion currently due to be in two weeks' time.

Materials being lifted by air to the site include around 200 x 750kg concrete blocks which will anchor the temporary mast in place. The helicopter will also be used to transport the sections of the mast itself to the moorland site, along with the metal ‘sledges’ which house the concrete blocks.

The lifts are part of progress towards the building of the mast as teams work around the clock to help restore services to people.

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Materials lifted on to the Bilsdale site by helicopter.

Once the material is in place, the helicopter will be used to then erect the mast itself by lifting separate sections one at a time to be secured in place by specialist riggers.

In total, the helicopter is expected to complete more than 230 lifts over the coming days.

Work to erect the temporary mast is dependent on the weather, but it is currently expected to be completed on Tuesday October 5.

In order to properly check that the new, temporary mast is covering the area in the desired way it is necessary turn off other temporary sites for a period the day before, Monday October 4.

Adrian Twyning, Chief of Operations at Arqiva.

That means households will see some disruption on that day, for which Arqiva apologises in advance.

Further updates on Arqiva’s work to restore service will follow in due course.

Adrian Twyning, Chief of Operations at Arqiva, said: “We are working around the clock to restore services to those people who are affected as quickly as possible.

"Using the helicopter is part of that effort and is the least disruptive way of transporting materials across this remote and sensitive environment.

“Arqiva has experience of using helicopters in this way, and we have successfully completed more than 50 projects on our sites over the years that required a helicopter to lift material or equipment into place.

“This is a huge logistical effort involving over 100 people and, subject to bad weather or any other unforeseen difficulties, we are making good progress towards completing the works on Tuesday October 5."

Mr Twyning said the 80m temporary mast more closely matched the coverage pattern of the existing mast than the temporary sites built at Eston Nab, Arncliffe Wood and Sutton Bank.

"Properly checking the 80m temporary mast requires us to turn off those other temporary sites for a period the day before, Monday October 4," he added.

"That means some households will see disruption to their service on that day, for which we apologise in advance.”