New RFS helicopters and aviation centre of excellence for Regional NSW

Regional communities across NSW are set to benefit from an enhanced emergency response and investment, as the NSW Government bases NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) multi-purposed firefighting helicopters at three key regional locations and officially turns the first sod for the RFS Aviation Centre of Excellence.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders was joined by Premier Dominic Perrottet, Deputy Premier Paul Toole, Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott and RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers to inspect the new base for one of the three helicopters at Dubbo Airport and turn the first sod at the RFS Training Academy.

Mr Saunders said construction of the new $5.6 million RFS Aviation Centre of Excellence will commence early 2022 and will be well situated next to the Dubbo Airport and RFS Training Academy.

“The Aviation Centre of Excellence will house four state-of-the-art aviation simulators as well as two dedicated training spaces, 27 accommodation rooms and other amenities,” Mr Saunders said

Mr Elliott said the three multi-purposed helicopters have been pre-positioned at Tumut, Dubbo and Coffs Harbour to allow for rapid deployment regionally.

“The RFS aviation capability has grown over recent years and is now the biggest firefighting aviation fleet in the country,” he said.

RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers said that the strategic placement of the RFS aviation fleet in three regional locations is particularly important.

“These aircraft will provide additional reassurance for regional NSW communities. It will not only support the NSW RFS during firefighting operations, but also provide other regional emergency services with real time high definition video streams and assist in search and rescue missions,” Mr Rogers said.

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