Some people in the Binghamton area have been asking questions about a red-and-black helicopter that's been spotted flying around the region in recent days.

The aircraft is being used by NYSEG to monitor its facilities.

Spokeswoman Juanita Washington said the helicopter patrols are being conducted in an effort to spot tree limbs or vines that may be encroaching on power lines.

NYSEG utilizes the aircraft routinely to locate potential fire hazards or other problems involving the company's equipment.

Washington said more patrols are expected to be conducted Tuesday in the Binghamton region.

Other helicopter monitoring operations will be performed in the Oneonta, Elmira and Auburn areas in the days ahead.

Washington said the aerial patrol mission schedules are weather-dependent.

Although NYSEG has been using drones to assess power lines after storm events, it still relies on helicopter patrols for routine monitoring of its facilities across upstate New York.

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