Graphic: Rfds wa
The Royal Flying Doctor Service’s aeromedical fleet has been boosted by the arrival a new state-of-the art jet made possible by a $15 million investment from Rio Tinto as part of a six-year partnership extension.
Graphic: three jets for rfds wa
The Royal Flying Doctor Service’s aeromedical fleet has been boosted by the arrival a new state-of-the art jet made possible by a $15 million investment from Rio Tinto as part of a six-year partnership extension
The latest aircraft, the third Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jet, arrived in Perth from the manufacturer’s base in Switzerland, touching down late on Friday, March 4.
The first Rio Tinto LifeFlight jet, VH-VWO (Victory), began operating in December 2018 and the second, VH-KWO (Kimberley), in February 2019.
The jets have travelled 5,139,520km since they were introduced to the RFDS in WA and 2,156,463km in calendar year 2021, traversing the State but also answering emergencies in the Indian Ocean Territories.
Graphic: RFDS COVID transfers
The new PC-24 will provide added capacity across all RFDS services but will also enhance its ability to respond to COVID cases anywhere in Western Australia.
The jet’s long-range capability reduces the need for multiple stops and the risk of further COVID spread during transportation.
The RFDS has boosted its workforce, aircraft fleet, equipment, and technology to prepare for surges in demand because of widespread transmission of the virus.
Graphic: RFDS X Rio tinto
Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Simon Trott said the company was committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people living in communities throughout Western Australia.
“Our relationship with the RFDS began 18 years ago with employee fundraising and we’re proud to have been able to partner with the organisation as it delivers first-class medical care for people on the ground and in the air,” he said.
“This partnership ensures that everyone who lives, works or travels across the vast 2.5 million square kilometres of our State has access to the world’s most advanced and innovative aero medical fleet.”
Since forming an alliance with the RFDS in 2004, Rio Tinto has contributed $37.5 million to the organisation.
Graphic: rfds rebecca tomkinson
Royal Flying Doctor Service Western Operations Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Tomkinson said the the third Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jet will boost patient response times and strengthen the organisation’s capital sustainability into the future.
“The RFDS provides an innovative, world-leading aeromedical service,” Ms Tomkinson said.
“The arrival of this new jet through our partnership with Rio Tinto ensures that we are ready for today’s challenges and those of tomorrow.
“The RFDS in WA is well-prepared to respond to COVID-19 in the WA community. We have safely transferred 156 patients in regional WA with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, with zero transmission between patients and crew.”