RFDS helicopter and ambulance

New RFDS facility opens at Busselton

Date published

14 Jun 2024

A new purpose-built facility has officially opened at Busselton-Margaret River Airport for RFDS and St John WA crews.

The new facility is located away from the main airport terminal, meaning RFDS flights are not interrupting – or interrupted by – growing commercial activity at the airport.

The insulated facility also offers greater privacy to patients and protection from the elements.

It was jointly funded by the Federal Government, as part of the Regional Airports Program, and the City of Busselton.

The RFDS’s Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jets, Pilatus PC-12 aircraft and Fortescue Heli-Med Service helicopters will all use the new dedicated apron.

RFDS co-head of medical Dr Roberto Radici says the facility – which has a kitchenette and bathroom - allows for improved patient care and comfort.

“We’re not holding up the air traffic at the airport, we’re reducing that time of transit for a patient and we can do the movement from ambulance stretcher onto our own stretchers in a space that’s enclosed,” he said.

“Sometimes we do need to give extra treatment on the ground before we can get airborne and this is an ideal space to do that.”

RFDS crews landed at Busselton Margaret River Airport 223 times last year, an average of more than four times per week.

It is the third most common location that the RFDS Fortescue Heli-Med Service EC145 helicopters land at, behind Rottnest Island and Bunbury.

Patient pushed towards RFDS helicopter by St John's paramedic.