In an Australian first for the Flying Doctors, the five-year partnership will integrate two Airbus EC145 helicopters into the RFDS WA fleet.
RFDS WA Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Tomkinson said: “The helicopters will work alongside the existing fleet of 20 fixed-wing aircraft to ensure the RFDS can continue to provide the best possible care for patients living, working, and traveling in rural and remote communities.
“The helicopters will enable many patients to get a faster journey to hospital. In what has been the busiest year in our history, having additional capability in our fleet is vitally important to our life-saving service.”
Providing vital services for the region
Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines added: “As a proud West Australian business with most of our team members either living or working in Pilbara, we want to ensure that regional and remote communities across our State have access to vital services such as those provided by the Royal Flying Doctor Service in WA.”
The helicopters will serve regional communities including Bunbury, Jurien Bay, Northam, Narrogin and Margaret River, as well as destinations as close to Perth as Rottnest Island and the Peel region. The RFDS will be introducing the helicopters to regional centres during a series of operational readiness flights before Christmas. The assets will be integrated into the RFDS fleet in early 2022.