Drones working to ensure public safety

To ensure public safety—not just in everyday work situations, but also during storms, wildfires and other emergencies—we provide our field crews with eyes in the sky. With our Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program, drones help improve day-to-day operations, quicken our response time during emergency situations and deliver on the promise of clean, safe and reliable energy. 


Benefits of UAS technology

A UAS, or drone, gives ground-based operators a bird’s eye view of power lines, vegetation, construction projects and wildfires – all without deploying work crews or heavy equipment. They can save time, reduce risk to workers, and avoid environmentally sensitive habitat. Plus, they’re battery-operated for zero emissions.

Did you know?

SDG&E was the first utility in the nation granted approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to research, test and train flight crews on UAS.

Since 2014, we’ve deployed drones to:

  • Conduct aerial inspections of electric and gas facilities, including emergency response damage assessments.
  • Pinpoint the causes of power outages.
  • Access infrastructure in remote areas that are difficult for ground crews or helicopters to reach.
  • Help string cable in a rugged area.
  • Check vegetation management and construction work done by third parties.
  • Monitor wildfires.
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SDG&E Drone Program Fact Sheet
SDG&E Drone Program Fact Sheet
We’re enhancing and expanding our efforts to reduce wildfire risk and taking every possible step to ensure that our customers and communities our safe--during wildfire season, and every season.

Learn more about the history and progress of SDG&E’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program in the following news releases.