Five of Australia’s not-for-profit aeromedical operators will no longer have to pay annual services charges to Airservices Australia in a move that will save them $2 million a year.
The five not-for-profit aeromedical operators to have their Airservices service fees are Angel Flight, CareFlight, LifeFlight, Little Wings and Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), it was announced on Friday.
Airservices chief executive Jason Harfield said the announcement was a further demonstration of the air traffic manager’s mandate to foster and promote civil aviation.
“Airservices is entrusted with, and committed to, fostering a collaborative environment in which the aviation industry thrives,” Harfield said.
“It’s why we place a critical importance on not being an economic or operational impediment to industry growth.
“Given that these aeromedical operators rely on donations from individuals, organisations and businesses to sustain their operations, we are pleased to offer this support.”
RFDS chief executive Martin Laverty said the waiving of air aviation charges would allow donor money to “stretch even further”.
“The $2 million annual navigation saving could fund 235 extra RFDS flights, or 15 extra RFDS nurses, or operate the 24 hour RFDS telehealth service,” Dr Laverty said in a statement.
“This is great news for country people in the ninetieth year of the RFDS.”
Minister McCormack praised the work of the five not-for-profit operators in providing essential services to those in rural and remote Australia.
“Aeromedical service providers operate across vast distances, harsh landscapes and in far from ideal conditions,” McCormack said.
“Access to these vital services can mean the difference between life and death for people in remote parts of the country.”
VIDEO: A look at the RFDS’s South Eastern Section Beechcraft King Air B250 in a 2017 video from the RFDS YouTube channel.
Meanwhile, CASA to complete transition to Flight Examiner Ratings quickly and smoothly
In other news, Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) chief executive and director of aviation safety Shane Carmody has welcomed the federal government’s announcement to provide indemnity insurance for all flight examiner rating holders from September 1 2018.
“CASA has been working hard behind the scenes to secure this decision as we understood the importance of this insurance indemnity for people working in flying training,” Carmody said in a statement on Friday.
“CASA will now complete the transition to Flight Examiner Ratings quickly and smoothly to minimise any impact on flying training.”
Deputy Prime Minister McCormack made the announcement regarding indemnification of flight examiner rating holders at a general aviation conference in Wagga Wagga on Monday.
“With effect from 1 September 2018, CASA indemnification will be provided to all Flight Examiner Rating holders and will continue for Approved Testing Officers,” McCormack said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack is speaking at the opening of a two-day general aviation summit in Wagga Wagga, NSW pic.twitter.com/drYthPbPdE
— Australian Aviation (@AusAviation) July 9, 2018
CASA said it had already issued about 800 Flight Examiner Ratings, with some 260 Approved Testing Officers to complete the transition by the end of August 2018.
Further, Approved Testing Officers would retain their current indemnity arrangements until they transition to a Flight Examiner Rating.
“Approved Testing Officers transitioning to a Flight Examiner Rating on 1 September 2018 will get extra time to complete an examiner proficiency check, avoiding any bottleneck in the next eight weeks,” Carmody said.
“CASA appreciates the vital role the flying training sector plays in the aviation industry and will provide necessary support as these changes are implemented.”