Maroomba to operate RFDS jet

Perth based Maroomba Airlines has been awarded a contract to operate the WA section of the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s Hawker 800XP emergency medical jet, which will be launched in November.

“Maroomba Airlines won the hotly-contested tender to provide jet services to the Royal Flying Doctor Service following a rigorous tender process,” said RFDS Director of Corporate Services, Liane Papaelias.  “While the RFDS owned jet will visit our Jandakot Airport base, it requires jet specific, permanent infrastructure at Perth Airport, which Maroomba can provide.”

The new aircraft, which has been branded as the Rio Tinto Life Flight, will be based at Maroomba’s facilities at Perth Airport. From there, it will be on-call at all times to respond to life-threatening emergencies throughout WA and beyond, offering much faster response times than the RFDS’s fleet of Pilatus PC-12s and Beechcraft King Airs. Under its agreement, Maroomba pilots will fly the Hawker 800XP while the RFDS will provide medical crew for the jet. Maroomba has also donated space for the development of a specialised patient transfer facility at Perth for exclusive use by the RFDS, which is due to open in 2010.

The business jet, which has been registered as VH-RIO, has had an aeromedical interior fitted in the US, and is understood to have already arrived in Perth.