Brisbane airport

Construction of a new $72 million aeromedical base at Brisbane Airport has been granted approval.

Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister, Catherine King approved the project, with tenders for the project to be called by Brisbane Airport Corporation in the fortnight following approval on 25 March 2023.

The  hub will connect Queenslanders to major hospitals and life-saving medical treatment, housing the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), LifeFlight, Queensland Health and QGAir, with new patient transfer facilities to care for people as they transition between aircraft and ambulance transfers. 

It will also feature state-of-the-art hangers for aeroplanes, helicopters, administration and a medical base for regional patients and donor transfers. 

Brisbane Airport Corporation Executive General Manager of Commercial, Martin Ryan, said,  “Brisbane Airport plays an essential role in the 24/7 connection of Queensland to urgent medical care. 

“The aeromedical base will bring all providers together into one innovative world-class hub, with a transfer facility providing patients on the move with the very best clinical care possible.”

The 14,470㎡ multi-tenanted facility will be located between Brisbane Airport’s two runways to accommodate speedy access for the RFDS, LifeFlight and Queensland Health.  

The Queensland Government continues to provide major support for the RFDS and LifeFlight to assist with their contributions to the new aeromedical base, as well as a $334 million, ten year commitment to the Royal Flying Doctor Service to enable it to care for the people of regional and remote Queensland.

Construction of the new Queensland Regional aeromedical base will support an estimated 200 jobs. 

The Royal Flying Doctor Service employs more than 400 people in Queensland and operates 20 aircraft, with its Brisbane base a pivotal link to eight operational bases across the state. 

Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer, Meredith Staib, said the new aeromedical facility will be unlike anything seen in the state before. 

“The new base will include a state-of-the-art short stay bay, including twelve patient beds allowing for overnight stays prior to transfer, if necessary, as well as a dedicated patient transfer facility where patients can be moved onto, or off aeromedical aircraft out of the elements, in comfort and in a world-class clinical environment.

“This new base will act as a gateway for more than 5,000 Queenslanders who are aeromedically transferred to Brisbane’s tertiary hospitals from right across the state each year.

“For 95 years, the Flying Doctor has been looking at innovative ways to deliver even greater levels of patient care and increase efficiency of healthcare delivery, and with this new, state-of-the-art patient transfer facility and short stay bay, will be able to do just that,” Ms Staib said. 

The LifeFlight facility will accommodate the unique combination of two medically configured Challenger 604 fixed wing aircraft and two highly advanced AW139 helicopters in a purpose-built hangar.

LifeFlight Australia Deputy Chair, Jim Elder, said, “This joint hub will be transformational for the aeromedical network in Queensland, housing our world-class service alongside our colleagues at RFDS and QGAir. To also have the strong and effective coordination of Retrieval Services Queensland based at the same facility, will be integral to continuing smooth operation, as the demand for aeromedical services grows. 

“This is a fantastic outcome for the future and those who will benefit most are the people of Queensland, especially those in remote and regional areas who rely on services such as ours to ensure they have access to the same levels of medical care as those who live in our urban centres.” 

Construction of the base is set to be completed in 2024.

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