Mackay’s Fergus Builders have been awarded the tender for the $3.2-million refurbishment and extension project at the RACQ CQ Rescue hangar at Mackay Airport, which will help enhance the level of aeromedical care provided and meet increased demand for the service in communities across Central and North Queensland.
This refurbishment project at the Mike Jones Street hangar will begin on later this month and will take about six to eight months to complete. The new premises, which will accommodate the entire RACQ CQ Rescue staff including operations, administration and fundraising under one roof, was made possible through the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Funding Grant.
The hangar extension was a ‘much-needed and a long-awaited development’ for the service, which ‘clocks up its 23rd anniversary in September, RACQ CQ Rescue CEO Ian Rowan said. He also noted that the planned extensions will also include an established Aviation/Natural Disaster Coordination Centre with access to the latest technology, and that rescue helicopter crew facilities will be extended, doubling the number of bedrooms – and existing limited office space is to be expanded over two levels. A mezzanine floor will also be added to the hangar for additional storage and virtual training resources.
Rowan said: “With the predicted growth in the mining, agricultural and tourism industries, all of which are reliant on timely aeromedical response due to their geographic isolation, combined with increasingly poor health scores across the region’s population, the future dictates an even greater increase in the necessity for and reliance on our community-funded aeromedical service.” He continued: “Last year, RACQ CQ Rescue completed a record 636 missions across an area in Central Queensland, which is more than four times the size of Tasmania.”
Rowan added that the project would help to ensure the new ‘world-class facility’ meets the aeromedical requirements of an increasing population, projected industry and community demands and will open up several commercial revenue opportunities for RACQ CQ Rescue.