New han­gar sends doc­tors’ spir­its soar­ing

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

The Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice last week cel­e­brated the launch of a new state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity that will as­sist in reach­ing and ser­vic­ing more sick and injured peo­ple from re­gional and re­mote WA.

The launch of a new han­gar and ar­rival of two new jets has her­alded a new era for the RFDS.

The world’s lead­ing aeromed­i­cal ser­vice last Thurs­day cel­e­brated the launch of a new han­gar at Jan­dakot air­port, which will give the RFDS much­needed space and in­fras­truc­ture to meet their strong and on­go­ing de­mand from across the State.

Af­ter the open­ing of the new fa­cil­ity, the RFDS was to re­ceive two jets to as­sist in reach­ing more peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties in WA.

RFDS chief ex­ec­u­tive Gra­hame Mar­shall said the new fa­cil­ity was an im­por­tant build­ing block for the ser­vice’s fu­ture.

“To­day’s open­ing cel­e­bra­tions mark a mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion in the RFDS’s long and dis­tin­guished 82-year his­tory in our vast State,” he said on the day.

“It is a truly in­no­va­tive fa­cil­ity that will not only help fu­ture­proof our es­sen­tial ser­vice, but also launch our op­er­a­tions into a new era as we con­tinue to be there for the peo­ple of WA, when­ever — and wher­ever — they need us.”

The RFDS’ avi­a­tion and en­gi­neer­ing teams have al­ready moved into the new fa­cil­ity, which pro­vides 13000sqm of air­craft han­gar space and in­cludes a suite of work­shops, tools and stores. Tak­ing 10 months to de­sign and con­struct, the fa­cil­ity con­nects to the RFDS’ ex­ist­ing han­gar cre­at­ing a space of more than 3000sqm.

“We re­trieve ap­prox­i­mately 9000 sick and injured pa­tients by air across 2.6 mil­lion sqm of Western Aus­tralia each year,” Mr Mar­shall said.

“Our new avi­a­tion and en­gi­neer­ing fa­cil­ity has been built to meet fu­ture pa­tient needs as a re­sult of the chang­ing de­mo­graph­ics of the WA pop­u­la­tion.”

The RFDS is also ea­gerly await­ing the ar­rival of two Pi­la­tus PC24 jets.

The new jets are twice as fast and are able to carry more stretchered pa­tients than the cur­rent PC12s.

Made pos­si­ble through a Lot­tery­west grant of $3.9 mil­lion, Mr Mar­shall said the new avi­a­tion and en­gi­neer­ing fa­cil­i­ties sig­nify a new era for the RFDS.

“Thanks to Lot­tery­west, our many sup­port­ers and our hard­work­ing team, we now have the next level in world-class aero med­i­cal, avi­a­tion and en­gi­neer­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties we need to take us well into the fu­ture,” he said.

To do­nate to the RFDS, call 1800 669 569 or visit rfds.com.au.

Pic­ture: RFDS

The RFDS' new han­gar can com­fort­ably house three jets at a time.

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