The Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern Section (RFDS SE) will receive a Beechcraft Kingair simulator as part of its new flight training centre in Dubbo.
The flight-training simulator was announced on Friday during NSW Premier Mike Baird’s visit to Israel with a trade delegation that included RFDS SE chief executive Greg Sam. The state government is making a $2.5 million contribution towards RFDS SE facility.
RFDS SE chief executive Greg Sam said the new simluator would mean more staff would be able to train locally, rather than overseas.
“The ability to train flight staff and medical staff simultaneously allows us to deliver an even higher level of aeromedical care for our patients and a safer operating environment for our staff,” Sam said in a statement.
“Having world-class, state-of-the-art facilities within our existing Dubbo Base will promote medical excellence in healthcare delivery and support community engagement. It will also enable us to train our pilots and medical staff in this highly specialised branch of medicine quicker and more economically.”
Sam also noted the contribution of the Dubbo Support Group.
“The Dubbo Support Group have supported us ever since we opened our Dubbo base in 1999, and including this generous contribution of $1.1 million to the new facility, have raised over $3 million to date and helped us develop a model for community/health provider partnerships,” Sam said.
“This announcement is great news for the people of Dubbo and Central Western New South Wales and for the RFDS SE. We have been expanding our facilities and clinic services in Dubbo as part of our 2015-19 strategic plan, aimed at reducing the well-documented gap in health and wellness between those living in remote, rural and regional areas and those in the cities.
Construction work on the $18 million RFDS SE aeromedical simulation and training facility at Dubbo Airport, which also includes a Flying Doctor tourism and visitor centre, was scheduled to start shortly and be opened in 2017.
NSW Premier Mike Baird described the project as an Australian first.
“It will be the only facility in Australia to provide aeromedical training for fixed-wing pilots as well as medical staff, to help ensure the continued success of the world-class service in regional NSW and Australia,” Baird said.
RFDS SE said Elbit Systems of Australia, a subsidiary of Israel-based technology firm Elbit Systems, would install the flight-training simulator.
“The Beechcraft King Air B200 simulator is a perfect example of Elbit Systems’ high technology and innovate solutions that are widely used in order to save lives,” Elbit Systems of Australia managing director Dan Webster said.
“The cooperation between Elbit Systems, the RFDS SE and the New South Wales government is an example of our commitment to the Australian society and I hope more cooperation will follow.”