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Fri, Sep 15, 2023

Royal Flying Doctor Service Selects FlightAware

Iconic Aussie Medical Service Betters Asset Tracking

The Queensland Section of Australia’s iconic Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS)—a non-profit aero-medical outfit providing emergency and primary healthcare services to persons and communities within Australia’s vast and remote interior—has selected FlightAware, a division of Collins Aerospace and provider of real-time and historical aircraft tracking and data services, to meet the organization’s complex and operationally-demanding flight-tracking requirements.

A leading digital aviation concern, FlightAware’s platform facilitates real-time and historical aircraft tracking, thereby affording users access to predictive technologies, analytics, and decision-making tools by which to better maintain essential operational control over aircraft and human assets.

While the FlightAware platform is utilized by all RFDS operations across the antipodes, the RFDS Queensland Section—by becoming an active FlightAware Global Platinum, FlightAware GlobalBeacon, and FlightAware AeroAPI customer—has invested in the system’s full suite of capabilities. Global Platinum offers users global flight tracking coverage and includes Aireon’s space-based ADS-B technology, by dint of which aircraft may be accurately tracked from takeoff to touchdown—even in the remotest locales. GlobalBeacon is Aireon’s satellite-based ADS-B service. Cumulatively, the aforementioned FlightAware services provide customers minute-by-minute aircraft position updates which exceed prevailing safety standards.

FlightAware’s Global Beacon web-based alerting dashboard combines Aireon’s space-based ADS-B position data with FlightAware’s technology and worldwide flight database to provide real-time 4D aircraft positions and customizable alerts by which dispatchers and similarly-authorized personnel may be made immediately aware of aircraft in distress.

In keeping with the organization’s “the finest care to the furthest corner” motto, the Royal Flying Doctor Service provides vital aeromedical retrieval and primary healthcare services across nearly five-million square-miles of Australia’s most rural and remote environs. Though similar in size to the contiguous United States, Australia’s population is far smaller and concentrated on the southern-hemispheric nation’s coastal regions. Residents of the Outback must often travel vast distances for hospital or specialized medical care.

The RFDS assists upwards of 387,000 people annually—an average of one person every ninety-seconds—and operates a fleet comprising 35 Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprops; 17 Beechcraft B200, 13 B200C, and ten B300C King Air twin-turboprops; four Pilatus PC-24 light business jets; and two Airbus EC145 helicopters. The Queensland Section, one of the RFDS’s six Federated Sections, spans over one-quarter of the Australian continent.  

RFDS data analytics & integrations manager Nick Warwick stated: “FlightAware’s team support has been exceptional. We provide some unique use-cases for the FlightAware platform, including multiple diversions, constantly changing flight plans and operations in very remote areas. The team has been very keen to learn about our organization, what we do, and how they help us to provide that mantle of safety to our crews operating in the remotest parts of Australia. FlightAware’s Global Platinum tracking service, combining Aireon satellite-based ADS-B and terrestrial ADS-B networks, means we can accurately track our aircraft to the ground in the most remote locations we serve. Updates occur every thirty-seconds no matter where the aircraft is.”

Mr. Warwick added: “The game-changer for us is FlightAware’s AeroAPI data service. We obtain automatic notification of key flight events and comprehensive flight history details for every flight. We’ve integrated this flight tracking data into our operational systems and display this with other relevant information to our tasking officers, greatly improving situational awareness of our crews and fleet.”

RFDS operations control center manager Leigh Aynsley set forth: “From an operations perspective, we are seeing benefits such as the ability of our tasking dashboards to interrogate FlightAware via AeroAPI, thus ensuring that our OCC always has visibility of up-to-date ETAs and critical information. We also appreciate being able to customize reports that help monitor and manage contract KPIs which is extremely beneficial.”

FlightAware president Matt Davis remarked: “We’re honored to be working with such an esteemed organization as Australia’s RFDS that performs day-in and day-out critical flight care to people in need. FlightAware looks forward to continuing optimizing their operations with AeroAPI and enhancing their remote flight safety through our Global Platinum and Global Beacon tracking solutions.”



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