Health Minister Roger Cook has today launched a new 500-metre extension to a runway at Jandakot Airport that improves flexibility for new Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft when taking off and landing.
The runway 12/30 extension means that the RFDS’ new high performance aircraft – the Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jets – can now take off and land during more types of weather conditions.
In certain weather conditions, Jandakot’s shorter 12/30 runway was less suitable for high-performance aircraft such as the jets, particularly at maximum take-off weight.
The jets, which can reach more than 800kmh at 13,700m altitude, can carry three stretchered patients (one more than the PC-12) and two medical teams at a time.
The RFDS took possession of the second of its PC-24s in February after a State Government contribution of $6.5 million through Lotterywest and funding from Rio Tinto and the Commonwealth Government.
The runway extension is part of Jandakot Airport’s extensive upgrades for the future.
A new LED ground lighting system for runways and taxiways and resurfacing of the central and northern apron taxiways have been completed at the airport, which is one of Australia’s busiest.
The Minister also turned the first sod at the site of a new Western Diagnostic Pathology central laboratory that will be built at Jandakot Business Park.
The state-of-the-art facility will include an automated Serum Work Area similar to a recent addition at Sydney’s central laboratory, which was the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
The Jandakot facility will replace Western Diagnostic Pathology’s ageing central laboratory in Myaree and is expected to be operating in early 2021.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“Jandakot is one of Australia’s busiest airports and I welcome these upgrades that will benefit all pilots and the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
“The new Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jets are critical for the RFDS to continue their outstanding work in servicing the health needs of people in remote parts of Western Australia, as they have done for more than 90 years.
“The jets were a game-changer for aero medical service in Western Australia and they have enabled the RFDS to expand its service capability and responsiveness to benefit all who live, work and travel across the State.
“I’m pleased to see Western Diagnostic Pathology invest in a new laboratory at Jandakot Business Park and I look forward to seeing its state-of-the-art technology in action in 2021.”
As stated by Jandakot MLA Yaz Mubarakai:
“I would like to congratulate everyone involved for extending this runway, which will make a big difference in getting patients to emergency medical care as soon as possible.
“It is also fantastic to see the lighting and taxiways improved at Jandakot Airport, which is one of Australia’s busiest.
“It is also a real boost to the local economy to see Western Diagnostic Pathology investing in Jandakot Business Park, creating jobs and opportunities for locals.”