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Rex assembles expert panel for Antarctic bid

written by Jake Nelson | August 31, 2023

A Rex Saab 340B, VH-ZRI. (Image: Rex)

Rex has assembled a panel to push forward its bid to take over aviation services for the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD).

The panel, which comprises Antarctic and aviation experts, will help Rex in its response to the Request For Tender (RFT) the AAD is expected to release in November.

Members include Dr Tony Press of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) at the University of Tasmania, Antarctic helicopter veteran Bill English, Antarctic aviation expert Stuart McFadzean, former RAAF squadron leader Nigel Meadows, Andrew Norman of ALCI Aviation (Enterprise), and regulation and safety expert Craig Martin.

“The panellists are amongst the world’s foremost authorities on aviation operations in the Antarctic and with their guidance and active involvement, we are confident that Rex’s proposal will exceed the expectations of the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD),” said Rex chairman Lim Kim Hai.

“The panellists’ insights and diverse perspectives will undoubtedly contribute to innovative solutions that enhance the safety, effectiveness, and reliability of aviation support operations critical to the success of the AAD’s mission in Antarctica.


“The panel will also ensure that the AAD will have a solution that is carefully designed to remain adequate for its future needs spanning the next 15–20 years.”

Rex in July expressed interest in becoming the new aerial operator for the AAD, which is looking to bring together its specialised aerial operations under one operator.

It is seeking expanded capabilities including a large intercontinental aircraft, four intracontinental turboprops with skis, four twin-engine helicopters that can operate on land and ship, and a “significant scaling up” of Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) capability.

Currently, the AAD sees flights operate during the summer between Hobart and Antarctica’s Wilkins Aerodrome, 70km from Casey Station, using an Airbus A319 leased and operated by specialist aviation services provider Skytraders, which has held the contract since 2002.

Rex has already lined up two partnerships to support its bid.

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