Bonningtons Introduces its Latest Industry Specific Aerial Observation Service

Top Quote Introducing the new rapidly deployed, simple and safe agricultural observation service. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) November 17, 2010 - Bonningtons, a Chartered Building Surveying practice established in 1990, today launches the Agriculture and Farming Observation Service (AFOS). AFOS is tailored specifically to the Agriculture and Farming industries and offers a safe and environmentally friendly observation service. It eliminates the need for farmers to spend a huge amount of time surveying land, livestock and crops using conventional methods such as time consuming walking and vehicles.

    The new service offers customers access to high definition digital video and photography equipment and utilises the Microdrone MD4-200 quadcopter, designed specifically to perform tasks in the field of surveying land, livestock location and crop management, documentation, coordination, exploration, communication and observation.

    The MD4-200 provides instant footage of land, livestock location, crops, building or agricultural development projects via a down link to a laptop/computer either on or offsite (live offsite transmission is subject to 3G communications or wifi network availability). This allows customers to establish, review and monitor agricultural projects such as diversifying farm buildings, planning developments and viewing grass keep, mowing grass, fertilising land and standing straw with ease. Analysis of the aerial inspection of land can target where farmers need to fertilise and where not thereby reducing unnecessary fertilising and minimising the amount of fertilisers that eventually enter water courses.

    Rural business management is also fast and simple with the Bonnington's AFOS service, as video footage and still images can be viewed either in real-time, as a Bonningtons pilot films, or as a movie play back or frame by frame. This allows customers to extract the most precise and accurate images, which can be viewed as printed photographs or enlarged on a computer screen. Alternatively, high resolution stills cameras can be used should the customer so wish.

    The MD4-200 is an SUA (Small Unmanned Aaircraft) with a modular payload concept, high resolution digital stills imagery and several video solutions tailored to different lighting conditions. As part of the AFOS solution Bonningtons offers its customers a choice of the following services:

    •HD video and/or 12 mega pixel photographs on CD/DVD. Photographs and high definition videos are not edited as standard, to enable the customer and their team to edit the raw information.

    •Downlink from the SUA to a base station laptop and video scanner to allow the customer to see exactly what the photographic equipment is looking at in real time as standard. This gives the customer the ability to direct the pilot in manoeuvring the SUA to the most advantageous position for their project.

    •Photographs and high definition videos are edited as an additional service.

    •One or more jpg format pictures of the actual flight path over the land superimposed on to Google Earth. This can be undertaken during a customer visit so they can chose the shots they require, or Bonningtons can supply a selection of images that highlight the most beneficial information from the flight. This is standard up to a previously agreed number of images with additional images being an additional service.

    •Bonningtons can provide its expertise in Chartered Building Surveying as an additional service eliminating the need for customers to employ similar professionals separately for construction development of agricultural buildings. This also means that Bonningtons can provide pilots with the relevant experience and knowledge in what to look for during commissions, potentially reducing front end professional costs for customers.

    As part of the AFOS facility Bonningtons will be introducing the larger Microdrone MD4-1000 in late November/early December, 2010. This equipment operates with longer flight duration, increased payload with consequently a wider range of photographic and other equipment, and higher wind speeds.

    Andrew Bonnington, principal and proprietor at Bonningtons, commented: "Bonningtons offers a high level of expertise in Chartered Building Surveying for rural business. In addition, the The AFOS solution addresses the specific needs of the agricultural customer and their requirements for review of land, livestock and crops. Whether it is a 'one off' survey or regular visits to monitor progress of farm diversification projects is at the choice of the customer.

    As agricultural and farming industries focus more on cutting costs in such an uncertain economic climate it makes sense for a business such as Bonningtons to tackle these issues in one simple service and provide customers with a competitive solution for inspections and targeting of resources. Part of Bonningtons' focus is to enable businesses to work more efficiently and AFOS allows the agricultural and farming industry to do this with ease."

    This announcement follows Bonningtons' continued success in chartered surveying and its growth plans to develop unique and specific services for the individual needs of its customers. Bonningtons is also launching a recruitment campaign to appoint further pilots to service specific customer needs. The new pilots will include both qualified and non qualified Chartered Building Surveyors to offer a cost effective solution for customers that already have a professional team in place.


    Laura Hawksfield
    E: laura.hawksfield ( @ ) jargonpr dot com
    T: 01189 255 754

    Charlotte Oakman
    E: charlotte.oakman ( @ ) jargonpr dot com
    T: 01189 255 730


    Andrew Bonnington is the pilot in charge, of the SUA/SUSA (Small Unmanned Aircraft/Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircraft - as defined by the Air Navigation Order 2009). Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors since 1990 and has been a fully qualified member of the RICS since 1987. In 1990 Andrew formed Bonningtons Chartered Building Surveyors.

    Having been employed in Local Authority building control in Kirklees and Leeds City Council in West Yorkshire for over six years in the late 1970s and early 1980s Andrew was subsequently employed by the Burton Group property division where he was responsible for arranging maintenance and refurbishments, including redevelopments of the property portfolio of large retail properties and department stores. Andrew's responsibilities were later expanded to redevelopment of town and city centre properties.

    More information can be found on the Bonningtons website:

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