Hong Kong recruits drones to check gas pipes

Hong Kong’s Electrical & Mechanical Services Department has announced a series of safety measures for gas pipes including using drones to check for leaks.

The initiatives for better monitoring of gas pipes include a new database to keep track of projects set to be conducted nearby. Department engineer Alice Ng said that the database helps to identify higher-risk projects by looking at the number of incidents involving accidental damage to gas pipes, so safety measures can be taken.

Towngas has also developed the Flight Pipeline Inspector to check gas pipes on slopes, bridges and other hard-to-reach locations. The remote-controlled drone fitted with a camera and gas detector performs real-time inspections and leak checks.

Ng said that the new detection method helps ensure the safety of Hong Kong’s gas network by allowing engineers to check remotely whether pipes need repairs.