RFDS to get new aircraft

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser
Nationals leader Brendon Grylls, Health Minister John Day, and Royal Flying Doctor Service chief executive Grahame Marshall alongside the new RFDS aircraft.
Camera IconNationals leader Brendon Grylls, Health Minister John Day, and Royal Flying Doctor Service chief executive Grahame Marshall alongside the new RFDS aircraft. Credit: Nick Way, Nick Way.

The first of two new planes to be based at the Broome Royal Flying Doctor Service is receiving a high-tech fit-out before making its way to the Kimberley town in March.

The Pilatus PC12 would double the RFDS capacity in Broome and significantly expand its capacity covering the north of the State.

Health Minister John Day said the aircraft were essentially airborne intensive care units rather than flying ambulances.

“This is particularly good news for patient care and clinical outcomes for people living, working and travelling in the Kimberley and the Pilbara,” he said.

“The service provides a critical lifeline for remote and regional communities, and visitors to popular tourist destinations.”

Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said $23.16 million from Royalties for Regions was financing the purchase of two new and two replacement aircraft, and had funded the new Broome RFDS base.

The first of the two replacement aircraft began operations in August last year.

“Broome is the busiest RFDS hub in the north of Western Australia, with more than 1,000 patients flown to and from the centre in the past 12 months alone,” Mr Redman said.

“Regional residents can be confident in WA’s world-class medical response services, as Royalties for Regions continues supporting the sustainability and resilience of local communities.”

Each year, more than 9,000 people benefit from RFDS emergency aero medical retrievals and inter-hospital transfers.

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