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RFDS to consolidate Adelaide ops

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 1, 2010
A Central Section PC-12. (Ryan Hothersall)

The Royal Flying Doctor Service’s Central Operations is seeking to establish a new, consolidated base at Adelaide Airport.

The organisation, which has hangar and maintenance space at the airport but its administration at inner suburban Mile End, is negotiating with Adelaide Airport Ltd for land at the airport on which to build a new facility.

Central Operations chief executive John Lynch said the plan would enable the RFDS to bring all administrative and operational functions under one roof.

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The proposal would involve a new site with access to taxiways and runways.

“We’re looking to build a whole new facility at the airport,” he said. “At present we’re looking for options for a new site.”

Meanwhile, the fifth and final new Pilatus PC-12 was due into service in January after its medical fit-out, completing a $30 million investment by Central Operations to replace the  oldest aircraft in its current fleet of 11 PC-12s based in Adelaide, Port Augusta and Alice Springs.

Lynch said the present fleet would not require any further renewal until 2015-2016.

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Two of the replaced PC-12s have been sold to the United States.

The Adelaide based arm of the RFDS, which is the preferred provider of fixed wing aeromedical services in South Australia, is still awaiting the outcome of the competitive tender to supply aeromedical services in the Northern Territory.

If successful, the NT government contract will require four new aircraft, as well as new bases and staff, to replace present NT Health Department medical teams.

Lynch said selection of aircraft types would await the outcome of the NT tender process, which seeks to replace the ageing Pearl Aviation air ambulance aircraft with new aircraft in a fully-integrated aeromedical service for the Top End, including a new aeromedical base in Darwin.

(Chris Milne)

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