A $3.9 million Lotterywest grant will support the construction of a new hangar and office facility at the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Western Australia's Jandakot head office.
Health Minister Kim Hames, who presented the grant, said the organisation was an 'iconic Australian institution', which provided essential and life saving services to nearly 30,000 people living and visiting rural and remote areas in WA in 2015.
"The organisation has provided services within the State for more than 80 years and now has six operating bases across the State, a fleet of 15 aircraft and about 300 staff," Dr Hames said.
"Each year, patient demand for its services continues to rise which has required the RFDS to increase its staff numbers and acquire newer and larger aircraft to transport more patients on flights.
"This grant will help construct a new hangar and office space which will undoubtedly enable the organisation to operate more effectively and provide a greater level of service and health care to West Australians."
The new hangar will accommodate up to three aircraft, including a new Pilatus PC-24 jet.
"These new jets - the first expected to be purchased in 2017 - will be able to transport more people per flight more quickly to medical facilities, potentially saving lives," the Minister said.
Construction of the hangar is expected to begin this month and be completed by the end of 2016.
The service responds by air to more than 9,000 patients annually, providing nearly 20,000 remote clinic patients and almost 42,000 patients by remote consultations. By 2020, it expects to transport 11,855 patients and receive 80,000 patient contacts per year.
Dr Hames said the grant was crucial for the organisation to continue its life saving operations in WA.
On average, RFDS WA pilots and medical teams fly over 8 million kilometres each year
Last financial year, Lotterywest raised $283 million to support the WA community
WA is the only State where money raised from lottery products is distributed directly back to the community to support not-for-profit organisations
Minister's office - 6552 5300