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RFDS Queensland Starts Work on New Training Facility

RFDS Queensland Starts Work on New Training Facility

The Queensland Section of Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has started construction of a new pilot training centre, which is set to house the country’s only Beechcraft King Air Pro Line Fusion full flight simulator (FFS).

The new RFDS Aviation Training Facility, located in Bundaberg, Queensland, next to the RFDS Bundaberg base, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023. Once completed, Queensland-based RFDS pilots will spend at least two weeks training at the facility each year. King Air pilots from outside the organization in Australia and Asia will also be able to use the training centre for their endorsements or recurrent training.

RFDS Queensland operates 21 aeromedical aircraft, comprising of King Air B200s, King Air B350s and most recently the King Air B360. The first of seven B360s ordered by the Queensland division recently completed its medical fit-out by HeliMods, with a second of the type arriving in the country in October ready for its fit-out. The remaining five aircraft are due to be delivered to Australia over the next 18 months. The RFDS Queensland fleet flew more than eight million kilometers over the past year, providing vital aeromedical services to remote and regional communities.

The A$25.3 million (USD$16.4 million) training facility has been funded by the Australian Government (A$14.9 million) and QCoal Foundation (A$3 million), the latter which supports education and health initiatives in regional and remote Queensland. The RFDS will fund the rest of the project through its fundraising, while the land for the centre has been donated by the local Bundaberg Regional Council.

“This will support the essential medical services of the RFDS by providing a word-class facility for training their pilots,” says Catherine King, Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister.

RFDS (Queensland Section) CEO Meredith Staib adds: “This purpose-built facility will play a vital role as we head towards 100 years of the Flying Doctor, with innovative aviation and training technology on our doorstep helping to ensure the continuity of world-class training for our pilots and crew, allowing them to continue to provide the finest care to patients right across Queensland.” ENDS