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Flying Doctor upgrade

Friday, 29th April, 2016

An artist’s impression of the new hangar which is to be built at the RFDS base. An artist’s impression of the new hangar which is to be built at the RFDS base.

The Flying Doctor says the construction of a new aircraft hangar at its local base will help it expand the range of services it provides to the region.

The hangar will be capable of housing four aircraft and be built on the southwest side of the base on an adjoining parcel of land, according to South Eastern Section CEO, Greg Sam. 

The land is owned by City Council which has agreed to sell it to the RFDS SE for $5000.

Mr Sam said the new hangar, which will replace the existing domed-roof hangar, was expected to be operational by early 2017 and would “allow us to increase our capacity and improve our engineering facilities”.

He said it would upgrade working conditions and allow the RFDS SE to train more engineers in a modern working environment.

“The RFDS SE’s strategic goal for the period 2015-19 is to reduce the well-documented gap in health and wellness between those living in remote, rural and regional areas and those in cities, and this is an important step in achieving that aim, through increased investment in our infrastructure,” he said. 

The $3 million development will also include an extension of the Bruce Langford Visitor Centre, with new attractions moved into part of the existing heritage listed 1938 Bellman hangar.

Mr Sam said this would see an “impressive array of RFDS historical memorabilia” currently in storage collated and displayed, including a Nomad and Beechcraft Kingair aircraft and a vintage Outback Trek Vehicle.

“Visitors to the upgraded centre will also gain unique insight into the current working of the RFDS, as well as where we are headed in the future.”

Mr Sam said the project came as the RFDS SE was providing an increasing range of services to more people and more communities.

“Having consolidated retrieval and emergency services capacity, the South Eastern Section has invested in and expanded additional primary care services from our Broken Hill and Dubbo bases,” he said.

“We are working with local health services and other organisations to bridge gaps in clinical and patient transport services to improve access to care in remote, rural and regional locations.”

Mayor Wincen Cuy said the project promised not only better health services for the region but also increased tourist traffic for the city. 

“The extension to the Visitor Centre will celebrate an important part of not only Broken Hill’s but Australia’s aviation history,” Mayor Cuy said.

“It complements the Council’s heritage strategy, which saw Broken Hill become Australia’s first heritage listed city in 2015.”

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