Major New Service Centre for LifeFlight Choppers Underway

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s fleet of aeromedical and search and rescue helicopters will soon be flying into a new world-class maintenance facility at Archerfield Airport, where expert LifeFlight engineers will have enhanced resources to ensure the aircraft are safe and always ready for action. 

Construction is officially underway on the new $24 million complex at Archerfield Airport in Brisbane, which has been specifically designed for purpose and will be significantly larger than the current facility. 

The increased hangar size will give LifeFlight Australia the room to double its current capacity for heavy maintenance activities as the organisation looks to the future and prepares to meet the growing needs of Queenslanders. 

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Renders of the new complex showcasing extra capacity to meet growing demand.

“Our current base maintenance facility at Archerfield has served as a brilliant home for our engineering team for many years and has seen hundreds of major services completed, but as demand for our aeromedical services has continued to grow, we have now outgrown it,” LifeFlight Australia Chair Jim Elder said.

“We are expecting the new centre to be ready to go by early 2024.  We have been working closely with Archerfield Airport Corporation on this agreement and we thank them for making this a reality for our teams.”

The sod was turned on the site of the new complex today by Hon. Jim Elder; Archerfield Airport Corporation (AAC) Director Lachlan Bird; LifeFlight supporter Clive Berghofer AM; and key stakeholders.

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Lachlan Bird (left), Hon. Jim Elder (left centre), Clive Berghofer AM (centre), Gavin Bird (right centre), Duncan Bird (right)

The Queensland Government recently announced a record commitment of additional funding to LifeFlight to ensure their life-saving services can continue to operate throughout Queensland.  The new funding agreement included a commitment to the brand-new Archerfield facility.

“Our investment of almost $1 billion over ten years enables LifeFlight to provide lifesaving emergency healthcare wherever you are in Queensland,” said Hon. Leeanne Enoch MP, Member for Algester. “The maintenance facility which is now under construction at Archerfield Airport is crucial to delivering this service.”

AAC Director Lachlan Bird said Archerfield Airport played a vital role in Queensland’s emergency aviation network.

“Archerfield’s location and facilities make it ideal for a wide range of general aviation operations and supporting the emergency services Queenslanders rely on has always been a priority,” he said.  “LifeFlight’s new base will be Archerfield’s biggest-ever hangar complex and we are delighted to be strengthening our relationship with LifeFlight with this project.”

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Render of the new complex.

While experienced engineers work on site at each regional LifeFlight base, the Archerfield base is the epicentre of maintenance operations.  Every LifeFlight aircraft is rotated through the facility for major inspections and work that cannot be performed at other bases. 

Together, the team ensures that every LifeFlight helicopter is safe and ready for flight, which typically means about five hours of meticulous maintenance for every hour flown.

The engineering team is an indispensable part of LifeFlight operations, ensuring critical aeromedical assets are operational when Queenslanders most need them.

LifeFlight’s Engineering Operations Manager Michael Dopking said the organisation’s engineering reputation was outstanding, most recently evidenced by the team obtaining CASA Part 145 approval, recognising that LifeFlight’s approved maintenance organisation operated to internationally recognised aviation standards.

“The new Archerfield maintenance facility will provide LifeFlight Engineering with another notch in our belt, and bolster our growing name as an organisation paying fastidious attention to safety and professionalism,” Mr Dopking said.

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Render of the new complex.