The Royal Flying Doctor Service is on cloud nine after Bundaberg Regional Council gifted land to the organisation for a new multi-million dollar flight simulator.
The gift of land, valued at $405,000, was approved in Council’s 28 September Ordinary Meeting and means construction of the facility could start as early as next year.
When fully operational, which the RFDS expects could be as early as 2023, the service’s 75 pilots will spend at least two weeks each year at the simulator, equating to almost 1100 nights of accommodation in the region each year.
RFDS Queensland section Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib thanked Council for its generous contribution towards the new aviation training facility.
“The gift of land valued at $405,000 enables the RFDS to secure land adjoining our Bundaberg Base, which was opened in April 2020,” Ms Staib said.
“The new flight simulator will train our pilots and aircrew to be proficient in the Beechcraft King Air 360s, which have become the aircraft of choice for the service.
“The new flight simulator will also be the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.”
Mayor Jack Dempsey said Council was pleased to support the new flight simulator after viewing the business case for the project.
“It’s going to create jobs here locally in the construction,” Mayor Jack Dempsey said.
“And it will attract a minimum of 75 pilots every year to come here for a minimum of two weeks to do their training and get a taste of our beautiful Bundaberg.
“It’s a magnificent achievement and we’re really very thankful for the RFDS in making the commitment to be able to have this facility, one of a kind in the southern hemisphere, based here in Bundaberg.”
Ms Staib said the Commonwealth Government last year committed $15 million towards the facility through the Hinkler Regional Deal.
“Now, due to Council’s continued support of the RFDS, we can take the next step in securing land for the simulator,” she said.
“We hope to commence construction early next year and open the facility early 2023.”