Israeli simulator for Flying Doctor Service in Dubbo

April 8, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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NSW Premier Mike Baird has signed an agreement in Israel securing an Israeli-built flight simulator for the Royal Flying Doctor base in Dubbo.

Premier Mike Baird inspects the simulator

Premier Mike Baird inspects the simulator

The flight simulator is part of a new $18 million facility, which will also allow the RFDS SE to accommodate an integrated aeromedical simulation and training facility, as well as a Flying Doctor tourism and visitor centre.

The Premier announced the joint initiative between the RFDS SE and Elbit Systems, an Israeli technology company, during the Premier’s trade mission to Israel at a signing at the Elbit’s facility in Netanya, north of Tel Aviv.

The NSW Government funding, alongside funding from the RFDS SE, Dubbo City Council, the Dubbo Support Group and Elbit Australia, will bring a multipurpose aeromedical, aviation and tourism facility to the Dubbo Base, including facilities for aviation, medical and other community and industry training uses.

Premier Mike Baird said that the Beechcraft Kingair aircraft flight simulator (and the associated medical training facilities), would boost the RFDS’s training program. 

“The Royal Flying Doctors are a beloved Australian institution. We are giving the Royal Flying Doctors the tools they need to do their crucial work across the vast NSW outback,” Mr Baird said. 

The centre will be the first aeromedical training facility in Australia to combine training for pilots as well as doctors and nurses.

“This project will be an Australian first. The NSW Government is proud to be part of the continued success of the world-renowned Royal Flying Doctor Service.”

Deputy Premier and Member for Dubbo, Troy Grant, said the project would also boost tourism to the region. 

“The flight simulator will be open to the public so we expect tourists to flock to the centre to get a taste of what it is like to fly the planes. This is a win for the local community and for regional NSW,” Mr Grant said. 

“The Flying Doctor’s Dubbo Base started operating in 1999 and this new centre highlights its value to our community.”

Speaking from Israel, where he is accompanying the Premier’s trade delegation, Greg Sam, RFDS SE Chief Executive Officer welcomed the prospect of new services and facilities that would directly benefit the Flying Doctor, their patients across the region, and other health and aviation providers. 

“The ability to train flight 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. 

“I would like to thank Mike Baird, Elbit Systems, Dubbo City Council, and of course our longstanding community partners, the Dubbo Support Group, without whom this iniatitive would not be possible,” said Mr Sam. 

“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.

“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,” added Mr Sam.

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