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CareFlight Group Queensland calls Archerfield home

CareFlight Group Queensland, the home of the iconic RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter service, has shifted its heavy maintenance operation to Brisbane’s Archerfield Airport in the wake of its recent merger expansion.

The not-for-profit joined with Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service in July and now covers a region that stretches across 24 councils and 3.7 million square kilometres.

Its community helicopters, the iconic RACQ CareFlight Rescue, come under the umbrella organisation CareFlight Group Queensland.

“CareFlight’s Archerfield facility will be pivotal in changing the way we maintain our fleet of 11 helicopters and two air ambulance Learjets,” Executive Manager Engineering Peter Johnson said.

“Our heavy maintenance, modification programs and significant maintenance events will be scheduled for our Archerfield facility,” he said.

“Our fleet is well supported locally by our engineers at bases dotted throughout Queensland, from Townsville to the Gold Coast and out west to Roma,” Mr Johnson said.

CareFlight Group Queensland now operates 13 aircraft and employs more than 400 staff across 14 locations, seven of which are CareFlight’s own air-medical bases.

“Archerfield is more central to the needs of all these regions. From Archerfield we are able to deploy our skilled engineers with the appropriate parts to any of the bases requiring assistance using a dedicated fixed wing support aircraft,” he said.

Hangar 110 at Archerfield provides the additional work area and capabilities needed for this type of heavy maintenance with a greater access to suppliers and specialists.

“It’s one of the reasons we’ve moved, but ultimately we’re looking to develop our Archerfield facility into our hub base from which we support our fleet in outlying bases,” Mr Johnson said.

Heavy maintenance can include scheduled short term work, through to five year, 3,000 hour maintenance on the Bell 412 helicopters that can take at least two months.

Eight engineers are currently working at Archerfield on two of the fleet’s community helicopters.

Previously heavy maintenance was completed at CareFlight’s Bilinga Base on the southern Gold Coast.

CareFlight’s Gold Coast Base remains home to two community rescue helicopters which are on standby to treat and airlift seriously ill or injured patients, night and day.