Adelaide-based Central Operations of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has taken delivery of the first of five new Pilatus PC-12 aeromedical aircraft.
The $7 million aircraft has been described as a “flying intensive care unit” with its new-technology emergency medical equipment.
Central Operations has begun the replacement of five ageing PC-12s, with the first to be retired having been in service for 13 years and carried more than 10,000 patients, according to Central Operations chairman David Hills.
Hills said the federal government had contributed $2.7 million towards the purchase and equipping of the new aircraft.
Adelaide IT entrepreneur Simon Hackett donated $600,000 from the Hackett Foundation and the balance was raised from RFDS supporters and sponsors.
Central Operations has a fleet of 11 PC-12s, and has -> ordered a Pilatus PC-24 jet due for delivery within three years for services on the Adelaide-Port Augusta-Alice Springs corridor.