As announced by the New South Wales Government on June 22, 2021, funds for the new budget year have been allocated for NSW Ambulance (NSWA) to secure an improved mix of aircraft in its Air Ambulance fleet. Rex subsidiary Pel-Air will be adding two new Pilatus PC-24 jets to the NSWA fixed-wing air ambulance services contract.
The operations phase of the contract will commence on January 1, 2022, with the introduction of five new King Air B350 aircraft. The two Pilatus jets will be introduced into service in the second half of 2023 and will replace two of the five King Air B350 aircraft for the rest of the ten-year operational phase. The Pilatus PC-24 jets will undergo modifications in both Stans, Switzerland and locally in New South Wales to prepare the aircraft for the critical care and complex mission requirements of NSWA in the areas of standard patient transfers, newborn, and pediatric emergency transport service operations, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation operations, intra-aortic balloon pump operations, bariatric patient operations, over-water aeromedical transfers, and major incident responses.
The ability of the PC-24 jet to travel long distances at very high speed and to land on narrow unpaved runways of only 11m width will be critical in a big state like NSW and could make the difference between life and death.