Darwin International Airport in Australia is set to become the home of the 25th aeromedical base for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), which has been evacuating patients from Central Australia and the Kimberley region to Royal Darwin Hospital for almost 80 years.
A new 15-year lease agreement between the airport and RFDS Central Operations will include the construction of a A$4m (US$3m) facility to RFDS design specifications. The purpose-built base will be located on a greenfield site adjacent to the Northern Territory (NT) Health hangar facility. Last year the RFDS transported more than 2,600 patients, an average of seven each day.
John Lynch, CEO of RFDS Central Operations, said, “Every three hours, somewhere in the Territory, the ‘Flying Doctor’ is assisting someone who is in need of an emergency medical evacuation.
“Set for completion in June 2017, our new Darwin aeromedical facility will enable the RFDS to deliver enhanced care and comfort for our patients heading into Darwin. The modern facility will create a streamlined patient transfer process, as well as provide a modern and safe workplace for Darwin staff, guests and our NT Health service-delivery partners.
Ian Kew, CEO of NT Airports, the airport operator, said, “This further solidifies our long-standing relationship with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and we look forward to working with RFDS well into the future.”
Written by Dan Symonds