Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) will operate a second aeromedical service from its base in Broken Hill, New South Wales (NSW).
The service will be operated 12 hours a day, and will run in parallel with RFDS’s existing 24/7 fixed-wing service to offer additional capacity during peak evening times.
RFDS southeastern section’s General Manager of Operations and Service Delivery, Claudio Grasso, speaking to Australian national broadcaster ABC, the service is expected to begin operations sometime between 7 and 10 March, subject to the finalization of plans.
He explained that the new service is expected to make RFDS ‘better equipped to be more responsive to the needs of patient transfers and attendant to any evacuation requirements’.
Alongside the new service, Grasso also said that the RFDS were planning on recruit additional pilots to join the seven already based in Broken Hill, bringing the overall number to 10, as well as increasing the number of flight nurses from six to eight.
The RFDS also previously announced in November 2021 that it will launch an aeromedical helicopter service in Western Australia in early 2022, in partnership with the Fortescue Metals Group. The service will complement existing fixed-wing services in the state.