The INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project in Australia has awarded a six-year, AU$45 million aeromedical support contract to national aeromedical charity CareFlight.
The contract will see an additional aeromedical jet based in the Northern Territory, which will operate independently of CareFlight’s Top End Aeromedical Service to the Northern Territory Government.
INPEX General Manager HSE Henk Feyen said the Project had committed to sourcing dedicated aeromedical capability during the offshore construction and commissioning phases of the Project to avoid drawing on government resources.
“These periods are when we will have the most offshore workers and we want to ensure they have the best care if faced with a serious medical situation,” Henk Feyen said.
“We also want to limit potential impact on Northern Territory emergency services should MEDEVAC operations be required for the Project.
“And as a result of the contract, 20 new clinical positions for doctors and flight nurses will be created in Northern Australia.”
In what is thought to be a world first, CareFlight and Aeronautical Engineers Australia have developed a fully inter-operable stretcher system for the Ichthys LNG Project.
Feyen said the Project funded the AU$2.5 million development of the I-CARE System, which can be used across multiple rotary and fixed wing aircraft.
“What makes the I-CARE system so unique is that patients no longer have to change stretchers or monitoring equipment while being transferred to hospital by helicopter, jet and then road ambulance. This is a significant medical improvement and we expect the system to become industry-standard.”
In further support of Northern Australia’s aeromedical sector, the Ichthys LNG Project recently funded a $500,000 upgrade to the Royal Darwin Hospital helipad.
Darwin based CareFlight director Ian Badham thanked the Ichthys LNG Project for supporting the development of medical and aviation infrastructure in Northern Australia.
“The proceeds from this contract will help CareFlight continue expanding our aeromedical and support services across Northern Australia,” Ian Badham said.