In Control with Farmland Aviation Ltd
Watching and dreaming from the ground as a child, Toby Dunn and his brother, Donno have always been surrounded by agricultural aviation. As a boy he recalls following their father around, filling tanks, and sitting on the side of the airfield waiting for a ride at the end of the day. Ever since then it’s all the boys have ever wanted to do!
The brothers now operate Farmland Aviation, which their father, Marcus Dunn, founded in 1984, and established in Kenya, East Africa.
By utilising several well-equipped turbine and piston aircraft, they have been effectively providing services to the agricultural industry for the past 37 years. Farmland also does pest control spraying such as locust and mosquito together with oil spill spraying, aerial surveying, and assisting with aerial firefighting.
“When it comes, you have to be able to act quickly.”
Plagues often appear unannounced, and the team have to be prepared, so Toby always has an aircraft at the ready in case this happens.
Being kind to the environment is a top priority for the family, so the team at Farmland Aviation Ltd use the ultra-low volume liquid spraying technique for locust control, which is generally less than 500ml/ha per unit area. Satloc GPS systems are used to ensure the correct areas are sprayed with the right volume of chemicals, and no overdosing occurs.
“It’s not all work”
Toby recalls a unique experience where he was contracted for cotton spraying, which took him to a remote area in Sudan where very few get to visit - there were no airfields! “We used the roads as airfields, and made arrangements for accommodation in local villages,” Toby says, “It’s an experience. You’re living an adventure as well as working!”
The recent locust outbreak in the Horn of Africa has taken them to areas that they would never usually get a chance to visit, such as Somalia and Ethiopia, where the landscapes can vary from dry, lowland plains, through to rugged and scenic mountainous terrain.
From the East to the West
The team at Farmland Aviation Ltd often find themselves contracting out to all areas of the African continent. It’s imperative for Toby to know where their aircraft are at all times.
All Farmland Aviation’s aircraft are fitted with Spidertracks. Each aircraft is tracked and monitored, giving them peace of mind, ease in operational planning and also the ability to act quickly should an emergency situation develop. They also utilise Spidertracks software to show their customers where the aircraft have flown and worked each day. Their customers appreciate this transparency in the business.
Toby’s dreams as a child to do what his father was doing, have materialised beyond what he could have imagined. Their business has flourished, expanded and taken many new paths, and well known across East and Central Africa. Spidertracks is one of the critical parts of technology that helps them run the expansive enterprise they have become.