Works planned to support RFDS aircraft and water bombing services at Mingenew airstrip

Phoebe PinMidwest Times
Shire of Mingenew chief exectuve Nils Hay..
Camera IconShire of Mingenew chief exectuve Nils Hay.. Credit: The West Australian, Kelsey Reid

Patients needing emergency medical care in Mingenew will soon have access to Royal Flying Doctor Service care, with Federal funding to ensure the regional airstrip is up to standard.

The project is one of almost 90 similar plans to benefit from the Australian Government’s Regional Airports Program, which aims to support safety and access upgrades to country facilities.

With its $241,000 grant, the Shire of Mingenew will conduct works to ensure the local airstrip is compliant with standards to allow RFDS aircraft to land.

Shire chief executive Nils Hay said Mingenew was fortunate to have needed the RFDS on few occasions, but pilots can now opt not to land on the airstrip if the conditions are deemed unsafe.

The project will also include the installation of infrastructure to support water-bombing activities and water storage to aid in regional fire management.

Worth almost $300,000, the project will likely be included in the Shire’s 2022-23 financial year budget.

Mr Hay said the upgrades had been on the agenda “for some time” and would boost the capacity of local emergency services in the event of a fire or other incident.

“If we are able to station water-bombing aircraft out here, or even if we just have extra water storage out at the airstrip, when fires do take place in that part of the Shire there will be a readily accessible water source there,” he said.

“With all the rain everything is growing everywhere which is fantastic for a great wildflower season and great crops but when it does dry out, I think there is going to be quite a strong fuel load for fires this year.”

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