Landing fees cut for flying doctors in council deal

LANDING fees for emergency medical specialists will be waived under a council agreement with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The motion was unanimously carried by councillors at yesterday's Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting in Hervey Bay.

Under the agreement with the RFDS, the council will enter into a sponsorship agreement that extends to waiving some airport fees for the organisation.

Councillor Zane O'Keefe said if charged at the full rate, the service would outlay more than $60,000 in landing fees to use the Hervey Bay and Maryborough airports each year.

"The RFDS is an invaluable community service so we are happy to support them," Cr O'Keefe said.

The RFDS flew 1281 flights from Hervey Bay last financial year.

Of those, 374 patients were flown due to heart or cardiovascular conditions and 62 were younger than six.

A total of 72 patients were flown out of the Maryborough Airport in the same year.

"The RFDS relies on donations and corporate sponsorships to maintain and equip its aircraft and to ensure its flight nurses, doctors and pilots are specifically trained to cater for any emergency situation that may occur while transporting patients," Cr O'Keefe said.

"Ensuring the service continues, brings great comfort to our community."

Across Queensland, the RFDS cares for about 95,000 patients each year.

The organisation also leases a patient transfer station at the Hervey Bay Airport, built in 2009.