Rio Tinto to buy Western Australia’s third RFDS jet with $15 million pledge

18 February 2020

A new state-of-the-art jet is set to join the Western Australian aeromedical fleet of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) following a further $15 million investment by Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto is pledging the funds as part of a six-year partnership extension with the RFDS, delivering on the company’s longstanding commitment to improving healthcare for regional West Australian communities.

Due to arrive in 2022, the third Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jet will further boost patient response times and continue to revolutionise the iconic aeromedical charity which has become a world leader in its field through its jet capability.

The first two Rio Tinto LifeFlight jets have been in service for a year, helping more than 1,000 patients across more than 1.2 million kilometres. Rio Tinto provided $10 million towards their purchase.

Since forming an alliance with the RFDS in 2004, Rio Tinto has contributed $37.5 million to the organisation.

Hon. Roger Cook MLA, Minister for Health said “I’d like to thank Rio Tinto for this significant investment which will improve the delivery of healthcare for people in regional and remote Western Australia. The RFDS provide an absolutely essential service and by funding a third PC-24 jet Rio Tinto are helping them further transform their service, expand operations and ultimately save lives.” 

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said “We are proud to support the RFDS in its wonderful efforts to ensure people who live, work or travel across our vast state have access to the world’s most advanced and innovative aeromedical capability.

Our long-term partnership with the RFDS has focused on helping the organisation enhance and expand its fleet for the great benefit of remote and regional Western Australians.”

Royal Flying Doctor Service Western Operations Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Tomkinson said “Rio Tinto’s purchase of a third jet will strengthen and expand our aircraft assets for the future, so we can continue our work as a vital link in the health network of our state.”  

“The successful integration of two Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jets into our fleet over the past year has already put time on our side to save lives, and we anticipate the arrival of a third jet will continue to revolutionise the way our 24-hour aeromedical emergency service is coordinated across the state,” Ms Tomkinson said.

“We are incredibly proud of our longstanding partnership with Rio Tinto and the ongoing collaboration to support health equity in the regions.”

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Royal Flying Doctor Service

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