Accessing Remote Telecommunications Sites
Case Study

Accessing Remote Telecommunications Sites

At Blue Clarity, we pride ourselves on our ability to survey and design towers that many would deem inaccessible.

Accessing and surveying remote telecommunications sites necessitates a considerable amount of planning, budgeting and time.

Background

Telecommunications tower design and surveying is one of the key facets of Blue Clarity’s service offerings. However, when visiting a remote site to survey its infrastructure, additional challenges and costs must be considered. It can prove logistically difficult, extremely expensive and time-consuming to facilitate travel to and from these remote locations. Despite this though, accessing remote telecommunications towers is a challenge that Blue Clarity relishes rather than shies away from.

In the Autumn of 2016, Blue Clarity were asked to survey one of the remotest sites in the UK; a telecommunications tower housed on Scotland’s Fair Isle Island. Upon initial review, traveling to the site appeared particularly difficult and the ensuing costs looked steep. Fair Isle is situated in Northern Scotland and lies between mainland Shetland and Orkney Island. Though famous for its traditional knitting patterns and permanent bird observatory, it is not so well-known for its transport links. On small terminal operates limited flights on and off the island three times a week and only one ferry plies between Shetland and Fair Isle’s naturally formed north harbour.  With only 54 residents a basic road network is all that is required.

The Route

The following journey was taken by two of Blue Clarity’s climbing surveyors over the course of three days. It details how they arrived on the island of Fair Isle and then travelled to an additional site in Orkney which they also surveyed due to its proximity to the first.

 

Wednesday AM – Our telecoms surveyors board an Airbus flight from Belfast to Edinburgh.

Wednesday PM – Blue Clarity personnel take a 36-seater flight from Edinburgh to Sumburgh village in Shetland. This is followed by travelling via the A970 from Sumburgh Airport to the Shetland Islands main port of Lerwick.

Thursday AM – The climbing team board a six-seater flight from Tingwell Airport, close to Lerwick, and depart for Fair Isle. The short flight is followed by a hike to the remote telecommunications site where a detailed telecoms tower survey takes place.

Thursday PM – The climbers board the same six-seater flight back to Lerwick.

Friday AM – The team fly from Shetland to the Archipelago of Orkney. Once safely landed, a second tower survey is scheduled for mid-day.

Friday PM – The journey home commences! Blue Clarity’s telecommunications surveyors fly from Kirkwall Airport in Orkney to Edinburgh International Airport and, from there, it’s back to Belfast on the last flight of the day.

 

Blue Clarity can offer viable surveying solutions to all telecommunications providers and their build partners. Whether the task involves surveying inner city London or a remote telecommunications tower on a 7.68 km² island, we prepare for each site by adopting the same logistical and operational approach. It simply involves agreeing how Blue Clarity can conduct any given survey in an allocated time, within budget and without impacting on the safety if its personnel.

563.4 miles from Belfast to Fair Isle.

The tower serves the Shetland Archipelago.

3 modes of transport taken to arrive at site.