Royal Flying Doctor Service reviews final design of Dubbo aeromedical project

The Royal Flying Doctor Service base. File photo.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service base. File photo.

Clinical and aviation training facilities remain part of the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern (RFDS SE) Section’s intention for its Dubbo base despite a change from earlier plans.

The organisation reported this week it was looking at the final design and also reviewing alternate options for flight training solutions as part of the development.

The multimillion-dollar upgrade to accommodate an aeromedical simulation and training facility, flight training centre and tourism and visitor centre was announced 18 months ago.

This week it confirmed that while Elbit Systems of Australia had previously been announced as the preferred supplier of an innovative simulation device, “this has not eventuated because of business decisions we have made”.

“RFDS maintains an intention for advanced aviation simulation and training and is evaluating all options,” an RFDS SE spokeswoman said.

“The RFDS South Eastern Section did not enter into any commercial or contractual agreement with Elbit Systems Australia.”

In April 2016 the anticipated opening date for the new facilities had been 2017.

This week the RFDS provided an update to the Daily Liberal, with the facilities now expected to start in the second quarter of 2018.

“We are reviewing the final design elements for the development to ensure tourism, clinical and aviation training facilities are optimised and expect to complete this process shortly,” the spokeswoman said.

Progress has already been made on the site.

Construction had started with road access and civil works completed, the spokeswoman said.

The plan was reviewed to ensure the best facility for the long-term benefit of the RFDS and community was achieved, she said.

“We are reviewing alternate options for flight training solutions as part of the Dubbo Base redevelopment,” she said.

“When appropriate agreements have been reached, we will announce our flight training plans.”

The spokeswoman says the Dubbo expansion is part of a commitment the RFDS SE board made to bring more services to central western NSW.