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RFDS Aviation Training Facility on Target to Open Doors in 2024

It’s been two years since QCoal Foundation announced our commitment of $3 million in funding towards the RFDS Aviation Training Facility in Bundaberg. Located next to the RFDS Base, this new facility houses the only full-motion Beechcraft King Air B350/360 Fusion flight training simulator outside the United States.

This project is predicted to inject more than $20 million into Bundaberg’s local economy and support approximately 40 full-time equivalent jobs.

The construction of the facility has been successfully concluded, courtesy of the expertise of the local Bundaberg construction company, Murchie Construction, and flight simulation partner, Thales. Following the completion of certifications, the doors of the facility are poised to open later in 2024.

Once open, RFDS pilots from across Australia will spend at least two weeks at the facility each year, which equates to approximately 1,100 nights of accommodation in the region each year, injecting a further $6 million into the local economy.
The facility will also enable other non-RFDS pilots to use the B350/360 Fusion simulator for their endorsements or recurrent training.

RFDS (Queensland Section) Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib said.

“This purpose-built facility will play a vital role as we head towards 100 years of the Flying Doctor. Having innovative aviation and training technology on our doorstep will help ensure the continuity of world-class training for our pilots and crew – allowing them to continue to provide the finest care to patients right across Queensland.

“The new facility simply wouldn’t be possible without the support of our long-standing partners QCoal Foundation, as well as the Federal Government and Bundaberg Regional Council – we’re enormously thankful for your support.”

QCoal Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sylvia Bhatia said the QCoal Foundation recognised the significant value of this project for the RFDS and for the Bundaberg region.

“We know economic diversification is key to ensuring the long-term resilience of regional communities and this project will drive that resilience in the Bundaberg region,” Ms Bhatia said.

Catherine King, Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister shared “The Australian Government is proud to be contributing nearly $15 million to make this critical project a reality.

“This will support the essential medical services of the RFDS by providing a world-class facility for training their pilots.
“It will also deliver a broader economic boost to Bundaberg and surrounds by supporting local jobs and attracting these pilots to visit, stay and shop in the region, while strengthening our domestic medical aviation capacity.”

Bundaberg Council was pleased to support the new Bundaberg RFDS Aviation Training Facility through the donation of the land for the new facility.

You can learn more about the RFDS Aviation Training Facility here.