Home to some of the world’s most spectacular beasts — including the black rhino and the antelope species hirola, both critically endangered — Kenya is naturally (and unfortunately) a target for poachers and therefore a necessary region to protect. Since 2004, the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), a conservancy membership organisation currently comprised of 35 members covering 42,000 square kilometres of the country, has been doing just that.
With aircraft key to covering this large, unforgiving environment, Spidertracks is a vital cog in NRT’s effort to build up local communities, protect natural resources, and shield animals from harm.
We spoke with NRT Director of Conservation Ian Craig (who’s responsible for the security of the wildlife and people under NRT’s jurisdiction) about the role Spidertracks plays in their operations. Read his comments below!
How did you become aware of Spidertracks, and when did you begin using us? What was involved in your decision to become a Spidertracks customer?
I became aware of Spidertracks after a friend had an aircraft accident in a particular remote area and was subsequently found thanks to his Spider. We’ve developed a Joint Operations and Control Centre that’s manned 24/7 to provide security to endangered wildlife (mainly elephants and rhinos), and aircraft are an essential part of our operations. Spidertracks enables us to track all our aerial assets on a real-time basis so we can effectively support anti-poaching patrols and security operations.
What Spidertracks features and functionalities are the most important for your organisation, and why?
From an operational perspective, the real-time display of our aircraft’s locations is invaluable, as it allows us to monitor their precise position when they’re out on more remote tasks in northern Kenya.
The Watch button also assures us that when pilots are flying in testing conditions, they’re being monitored.
What would you say are the biggest strengths of the Spidertracks system?
The real-time display and the ease with which we can activate Watch mode.
What key issues for your business has Spidertracks helped with?
We use Spidertracks on a daily basis to know where the aircraft are, and we use it several times a month in an operational role when supporting anti-poaching teams. The unit provides an instant reference to where people may be in danger and require support or extraction if injured.
I had an engine failure in a remote location and received assistance within a matter of hours; Spidertracks gave those who were part of the rescue mission total confidence in our location, and it gave me peace of mind knowing that they knew.
Have we helped you fly safer and smarter?
Spidertracks has helped us to feel safer, as our location is known to others at all times — providing a level of comfort to all concerned, especially the pilots flying in an operational role and placing their own personal safety at risk.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
Amongst sophisticated communications and wildlife monitoring systems, Spidertracks stands out as being user-friendly and providing instant and reliable feedback.
Schedule a demo to understand what Spidertracks could do for your aviation business.