13-Sep-2013 Source: Queensland Government
The Queensland Government’s emergency helicopters, police and fixed wing aircraft will be brought together and operated under one combined service.
The decision to establish the new Government Air Service comes after an extensive review examined what was the most effective and efficient way to operate the government air and helicopter services.
The review assessed three different options including keeping the status quo, outsourcing the entire service, or retaining all air crews under a single department and leasing aircraft.
Police and Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey said the Government had decided to retain all air crews under his portfolio, with the changes to be finalised by March 2014.
“Every day our hard working emergency pilots and air crew do a fantastic job transporting sick patients from the regions for treatment and delivering organs for transport,” he said.
“During times of natural disaster, they go above and beyond the line of duty to save the lives of others.
“Combining the services will ensure Queenslanders get the best value for money from police and emergency air operations while retaining our highly experienced air crews and maintaining an exceptional standard of service.
“There will be no change in the capability of emergency helicopters and aircraft which will ensure there is no impact on the arrangements for the disaster season.
“These structural changes are all about ensuring Queenslanders receive the best services at the best value for money.”
Mr Dempsey said some of the State Government’s current air assets will need to be replaced in the medium to long term, and leasing the assets from a private contractor would be considered.
“This may also include the consideration of future maintenance options for the fleet.”
The Government Air Service will also manage the contractual arrangements with community helicopter providers and the contracted helicopter service in the Torres Strait.