Royal Flying Doctor Service Western Operations (RFDS WO) today announced that Port Hedland International Airport (PHIA) will continue supporting Pilbara communities, following a partnership extension with the Flying Doctor.
PHIA will waive all landing fees for the Flying Doctor at its Port Hedland operational base until 2022, enabling the aeromedical charity to redirect funds to providing critical health services to those who need it most in regional and remote WA.
Looking for new ways to help, PHIA will share opportunities to promote the Flying Doctor in Western Australia and partner in engagement opportunities within the Airport community.
This announcement follows PHIA's recent tarmac upgrade at the Flying Doctor's Port Hedland base, enabling the new, larger Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jets to taxi and park at the airport.
In partnership since 2016, both the Flying Doctor and PHIA are delighted to work together to reach patients and communities that few others can.
PHIA General Manager Rod Evans said “PHIA is very proud to lend our support to the Flying Doctor in Western Australia and contribute to the amazing work they do up in the air.
“Port Hedland is the Flying Doctor's second busiest base in WA and supports regional airports in the Pilbara.”
RFDS WO Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Tomkinson said: “The Flying Doctor has shared a long and proud history with communities in the Pilbara region, providing a ‘mantle of safety’ through our 24-hour aeromedical emergency service and primary health care clinics.
“Last year, our crews retrieved 1,473 patients from the Pilbara region to reach specialist care. Our renewed partnership with Port Hedland International Airport waives all landing fees, enabling us to continue to redirect vital funds towards patient care.”
Operational since 1936, Port Hedland was the Flying Doctor's first operational base in Western Australia. Last year, the RFDS WO fleet travelled 1.1 million kilometres from the Port Hedland base to retrieve 1,473 aeromedical patients and reached 2,198 patients via primary health care clinics held across the Pilbara region.