RFDS team being presented cheque

Graphic: RFDS team being presented cheque

Rockhampton Airport gives back to the Flying Doctor

Date published

29 Jun 2022

Rockhampton Airport has donated more than $123,000 to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) to help patients across Central Queensland continue to access the finest care.

Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Tony Williams and Councillor Neil Fisher, Chair of Rockhampton Airport, today presented a cheque for $123,269.24 to the RFDS for the reimbursement of landing fees for the period from March 2021 to February 2022.

Mayor Tony Williams said that Council is extremely grateful for the life-saving services the RFDS provides to the local community.

“The RFDS does so much for the community, and Council is once again honoured to reimburse 100% of their landing fees,” Mayor Williams said.

“This is a token of our appreciation in recognition of the important role that the service offers to those in need of urgent medical attention.”

Councillor Neil Fisher said it is wonderful to once again donate towards the essential, life-saving service, an annual tradition that has been in place for more than 20 years.

“In the past year, RFDS landed 1,726 times at Rockhampton Airport, transported a total of 2,720 patients and flew more than 1,500,000 kilometres,” Cr Fisher said.

RFDS Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib said the organisation is incredibly grateful for Council’s ongoing support.

“Our Rockhampton Base transfers the most patients of the 12,000 we fly across Queensland each year, and in the period of the landing fees, our crews flew the equivalent distance of almost two trips to the moon and back - transporting thousands of patients and delivering life-saving care along the way,” Ms Staib said.

“This donation will help keep us in the air and ensure we can continue to provide the finest care to the furthest corner – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Rockhampton local Jessica Allen knows all too well how important the Flying Doctor is. The 21-year-old has been flown not once, but twice, by the RFDS.

Ms Allen first flew with the RFDS when she was 34 weeks pregnant with her daughter, Amanii. In August 2021, Ms Allen was flown by the RFDS for a second time, after she went into cardiac arrest at a Gladstone football field.  

Ms Allen said without the RFDS, her life would not have been the same.

“I cannot thank them enough, and neither can my family, they are part of the reason I’m still here today and able to do everything I can,” Ms Allen said.

“I owe them my life and I will never have enough ‘thank yous’ for such an amazing crew, and neither will my family, they are simply my heroes.”