The Royal Flying Doctor Service is seeking more financial support from large corporations in response to significantly increased demand for its services in the northern parts of Western Australia.
In 2011/12 the RFDS helped more than 39,000 patients in Western Australia, with 54% from the Kimberley region and 20% from the Pilbara.
Two new aircraft are needed by the end of 2013.
A number of large corporations sponsor the RFDS, including BHP Billiton, Chevron, Woodside Energy, and Bankwest. Rio Tinto sponsors the Rio Tinto Life Flight jet (Hawker 800XP VH-RIO).
The RFDS celebrated its 85th anniversary on 17 May 2013. In its first year of operation in 1928, the Flying Doctors operated one De Havilland DH-50 aircraft leased from QANTAS and assisted 225 patients. The RFDS now operates a fleet of 63 aircraft from 21 locations across Australia, performing more than 100 aeromedical evacuations per day.