The Adelaide based Central Operations of the Royal Flying Doctor Service increased its patient numbers and its flying hours by more than five per cent in 2010-11.
The organisation’s annual report shows that income also grew significantly, up from $46.2 million to $50.1 million for the year.
It booked a surplus after all expenses of $18.4 million, as it faces costs estimated at $46 million over the next five years for four more replacement aircraft and other capital works.
The higher income figure included capital grants of $11.9 million from the state and federal governments, as Central Operations completed its present $30 million re-equipment program, bringing five new Pilatus PC-12 aerial ambulances into service.
With that completed, and $3.1 million spent on upgrading the Alice Springs base, chairman David Hills said Central Operations was turning its attention to redeveloping its visitor centre in Alice Springs and developing plans to consolidate aviation and administration activities in a new facility at Adelaide Airport.
This plan was still in its infancy, he said, but the RFDS had begun discussions with AAL over a suitable site.
The organisation’s 11 aircraft flew a total of more than 14,000 hours and 5.3 million kilometres, attending to about 50,500 patients during the year.