HomeNewsFlight simulator poised for take-off

Flight simulator poised for take-off

flight simulator
The Royal Flying Doctor Service wants to establish a flight simulator in Bundaberg to train pilots and air crew in flying the Beechcraft King Air 360 aircraft.

A proposed RFDS flight simulator in Bundaberg is poised for take-off and will inject at least $20 million into the local economy during construction and $6 million per year when operating.

The facility will be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said it’s a coup for Bundaberg to land the simulator, which will attract pilots and air crew for training from across Australia and the Asia Pacific.

Council is considering a request to donate land near Bundaberg Airport, which has been on hold waiting for this project to go ahead.

“RFDS have told us they’ve moved to Beechcraft King Air 360 aircraft as the 200 and 350 models they currently fly are no longer manufactured,” he said.

“Hence the need for a new flight simulator.

“The nearest Beechcraft King Air 360 flight simulator is in Florida, USA. Given the current circumstances, travelling to the United States for flight training is simply not practical nor financially sustainable over the long term.”

Mayor Dempsey said the RFDS wants Council to donate a parcel of land in the Bundaberg Aviation Precinct valued at $405,000.

“It’s an exciting project but I think it’s important to be transparent about the proposal before Council formally votes on it,” he said.

“RFDS says that when fully operational, all of its 75 pilots will spend at least two weeks each year at the simulator.

“This equates to almost 1100 nights of accommodation in the region each year.

RFDS Flight simulator
In early 2020 the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) showcased preliminary plans for its world-class Aeromedical Retrieval Simulation Hub to be built in Bundaberg. Photo: www.flyingdoctor.org.au

“It’s also on top of the $6.5 million that the Bundaberg aeromedical base and patient transfer facility currently injects into the regional economy each year and the 50 FTE jobs it supports.”

Aircraft manufacturer Textron Aviation announced its new flagship Beechcraft King Air 360 in August 2020.

With auto-throttle, better pressurization and increased cabin comfort, the latest King Air aims to ease pilot workload and make it more user friendly.

The aircraft has a maximum speed of 578kmh and a range of 3345km.

The RFDS has received a grant of $15 million from the Federal Government towards the simulator.



  1. oh we been crying out for one of these, much more important than housing shortages for kicked out now homeless renters

  2. Just give the land and get this thing happening. Finally something positive to happen for Bundy. My father was based here in the RAAF during WW2…. and loved the place. Imagine what having the Air Force base did for the town. I know it led to our family moving to Bundaberg in the ’60s…not sure if that was totally positive, but it is what it is!! We are proud to have lived here and been a small part of the Bundy story. Council, don’t just discuss, make it happen…. NOW!!

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