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Faster medical evacuations on the horizon


The “Defining the Future of Rescue and Retrieval: Aviation Innovation ” seminar showcasing the AW609 tilt-rotor will be held in Brisbane, Australia November 21-22


Remote Critical Care. Faster medical evacuations on the horizon


Aeromedical Innovation Australasia, November 15, 2017 - A seminar to be held in Brisbane in November will highlight new developments promising to revolutionise aeromedical services in rural Australia.

Defining the Future of Rescue and Retrieval: Aviation Innovation will be a forum to explore the benefits of tiltrotor transport to improve patient transfer from remote locations, which is a major goal of organiser Aeromedical Innovation Australasia (AIA) under the banner Project Thunderbird.

The Leonardo AW609 tiltrotor aircraft will be the star of the show and AIA has invited a team from the manufacturer to participate in the forum.

Thunderbird lead Simon Butler said introduction of the AW609 to Australia would improve the standard of patient care in rural Australia by combining the remote vertical access abilities of a helicopter with long-distance rapid transport in one aircraft.

“Our intention here is most definitely to help the current operators gain access to this aircraft and then help them setup safe operations - our intention is definitely not to push anyone out of business or take their jobs or contracts,” he said.

Tiltrotor technology has been available to the US military since 2007 in the form of the MV-22 Osprey. The Leonardo-built AW609 will be the first commercial aircraft with this technology. It is designed to bridge the gap between fixed and rotary wing operations, bringing some of the benefits of both together into one hybrid.

Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport has been the focus for a trial of this technology due to its strategic position, and being a new airport with a blank slate for designing an operations facility. Mr Butler said the airport owner John Wagner “is a big supporter” of the push for AW609 entry into Australian aeromedicine.

More than 20 speakers are scheduled for the two-day event including Tony Laws, Director of Airmid Training Solutions; Sara Hales, General Manager Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport and Ewen McPhee, President Rural Doctors Association of Australia. Flight Centre and Airmid are the major sponsors.

Remote Critical Care


AIA Chairman Dr Paul Adams said the focus of the conference would be sharing information, nurturing support for improved remote critical care delivery, and “fundamentally promoting business discussions”.

“Our aim is to encourage conversations between industry, government and the manufacturer to assist with the timely introduction of the AW609 into Australia,” he said.

“As far as I know, what we are doing here may be a world-first”.

The seminar is expected to attract professionals from government, regulatory bodies and industry along with investors, business developers, potential advocates and media.

Dr Adams said there are plans to include key industry representatives from organisations including Leonardo, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to discuss the emerging tiltrotor aviation as it applies to aeromedicine.


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AgustaWestland AW609

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