The Palaszczuk Government’s $43m investment in two new helicopters for the state’s Far North is delivering life-saving benefits.
In a three month period the new helicopters performed 182 operations.
Minister for Police Mark Ryan said the investment reflected the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to public safety.
“The twin-engine helicopters are market-leading in capability, speed, ride quality and passenger cabin space.
“They are additionally fitted with state-of-the-art avionics.
“These new helicopters are making a real difference.
“Of the 182 operations flown in a three month period, 24 were rescue operations and a further eight missions were for search and rescue purposes.
“As well these new aircraft undertook 150 medical related transfers in the same time period.
“This is front-line community safety work at its best.
“The highly trained aircrew and medical specialists are able to quickly get to people in need of help,” the Minister said.
Aaron Harper MP for Thuringowa said, “As a former critical care flight paramedic, I am very familiar with the capability of the AW139 helicopters and welcome the added capability for Townsville which will be a benefit for all of North Queensland especially in times of disasters”.
The two AW 139 helicopters were upgraded with a specifically designed Aeromedical fit-out by Helimods on the Sunshine Coast.
The company is recognised as one of the world leaders when it comes to developing and installing the sophisticated technology that turns a conventional helicopter into a life-saving flying machine.
As well, the new helicopters have Forward Looking Infra-Red camera capability, giving aircrew members greatly enhanced search and rescue and surveillance abilities.
The investment means the Far North is now serviced by three helicopters from the same manufacturer with two based in Townsville and one in Cairns.
This means that interoperability, crew deployment, and aircraft availability is enhanced.
Minister Ryan said the $43m investment was worth every cent.
“These state of the art aircraft are saving lives and you can’t put a price on that.”