Graphic: helicopter

Boosting our capability for the next century

Date published

25 Aug 2021

In an Australian first for the Flying Doctor, two helicopters will join our fleet at the end of 2021.

The innovation will be the RFDS’ first dedicated aeromedical helicopter service and crewed by RFDS’ experienced and trusted team of specialist pilots, doctors and flight nurses.

This exciting expansion of our service will provide RFDS crews with greater flexibility to deploy the best aircraft type to meet the needs of each patient’s individual circumstances.

“We are absolutely committed to our century-old promise to improve health equity for all Western Australians, regardless of where they live or work,” RFDS Western Operations CEO Rebecca Tomkinson said.

The introduction of helicopters delivers on the commitments made in our 2020 Strategic Direction: The Next Century to remain the State’s most trusted patient retrieval service and keep improving health equity for everyone in regional WA.

The EC145 helicopters will complement our existing fleet of 16 PC-12 turboprop and three Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jets. Each aircraft type brings unique strengths and capability.

The helicopters will be used for door-to-door aeromedical retrievals from regional hospitals to specialist care at Perth’s major tertiary hospitals.

The assets provide us with greater capacity to assist the State when it needs us most.

"This is an essential step forward if the RFDS is to meet the increasingly diverse health needs in regional, remote and very remote communities. We are excited to take this next step in our journey to support people living in regional Western Australia," Rebecca said.

RFDS fleet