Royal Flying Doctor Service

Operator Profile


Narrative Summary

RFDS History

Key Dates

15 May 1928 Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service (AMS) launched.
1934 AMS renamed Australian Aerial Medical Service (AAMS).
1934 Victoria Section created.
1942 AAMS renamed The Flying Doctor Service.
1955 Royal added to Flying Doctor Service title.

Current Status

The aircraft of the Service are fully operational.

Future Plans

Take delivery of 4 Pilatus PC-24 jets.


Special Markings

Aircraft of the RFDS are typically overall white with a blue/white red fuselage cheatline and ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE titles on the upper fuselage. The RFDS logo is carried on the fin, and often also the RFDS initials vertically on the rudder. On newer aircraft the titles have been revised slightly to read ROYAL FLYING DOCTOR SERVICE OF AUSTRALIA.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

RFDS aircraft carry civil registrations.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

To be added.


Main Headquarters

RFDS Federation Office, Level 2, 10 – 12 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2600.

Organisational Structure

The RFDS is organised into a federal structure, with a National Office and six self-governing regional Sections.

Current Unit Assignments

Table of Current Unit Assignments

Historical Unit Assignments

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

Units Listing

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The RFDS currently operates from 21 bases plus 2 primary health care facilities (Marree and Tennant Creek). For a full list see the Table of Current Unit Assignements above.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

The following air bases are no longer used: Carnarvon, Geraldton, Wyndham, Cloncurry, Charters Towers.

More Information


None known.


To be added


Royal Flying Doctor Service
wikipedia: Roayl Flying Doctor Service of Australia
Facebook: Royal Flying Doctor Service

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.


Narrative History

of the Royal Flying Doctor Service

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) of Australia is a not-for-profit organsation that provides health care to people who cannot reach a hospital or doctor’s surgery due to the vast distances of the Australian Outback.

A organisation called the Australian Inland Mission (AIM) was founded in 1912 to provide religous support and medical care in the remote parts of Australia. More than a dozen nursing homes and bush hospitals were established by the AIM in its early years. On 15 May 1928 the Reverend John Flynn, a leading figure in the AIM, formed the AIM Aerial Medical Service (AMS) as a initial one-year experiment, based in Cloncurry, QLD. Using an aircraft leased from QANTAS, the services’s first flight took place on 17 May. 50 flights were made in the first year of operations, and sufficent donations and money from community fundraising were received to allow the service to continue well beyond its initial trial year.

In 1934 the Australian Aerial Medical Service (AAMS) was established, applying the Cluncurry model to other parts of the country. Sections were established in Victoria in 1934 and then New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territory in 1936. Additional bases were also created in Queensland.

The expanding organisation formed an official Federal Council in 1936. In 1942 the service was renamed to Flying Doctor Service, and in 1955 the prefix Royal was bestowed.

Until the 1960s, the RFDS rarely owned aircraft, preferring to allow private contractors to provide aircraft, pilots and servicing. Subsequently, the service began to purchase aircraft and employ their own pilots and engineers.

All-Time Units Listing

of the Royal Flying Doctor Service

This page lists all the flying sub-units of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, since the service’s introduction.

Central Operations
Queensland Section
South Eastern Section
Tasmani Section
Victoria Section
Western Operations

No Longer Current:
New South Wales Section
South Australia Section
Eastern Goldfields Section
Western Australia Section

Current Unit Assignments

of the Royal Flying Doctor Service
Unit Type Base
Central Operations
(14 Pilatus PC-12)
  PC-12 Adelaide Airport, South Australia
  PC-12 Port Augusta, South Australia
  PC-12 Marree, South Australia
  PC-12 Alice Springs, Northern Territory
  PC-12 Tennant Creek, Northern Territory
South Eastern Section
(17 Super King Air 200C, 2 Super King Air 300C)
  Super King Air Broken Hill, New South Wales
  Super King Air Dubbo, New South Wales
  Super King Air Sydney-Bankstown Airport, New South Wales
  Super King Air Sydney Airport, New South Wales
Tasmania Section
(1 Super King Air 200)
  Super King Air 200 Launceston, Tasmania
Victoria Operations
(?? Super King Air)
  Super King Air Melbourne-Essendon Airport, Victoria
  Super King Air Richmond, Victoria
  Super King Air Maffra, Victoria
  Super King Air Mildura, Victoria
  Super King Air Wangaratta, Victoria
Queensland Section
(12 Super King Air 200, 3 Super King Air 200C, 3 PC-12, 2 Cessna 208 Caravan)
  Super King Air Charleville, Queensland
  Super King Air Rockhampton, Queensland
  Super King Air Long Reach, Queensland
  Super King Air Bundaberg, Queensland
  Super King Air Brisbane Airport, Queensland
  Super King Air Mount Isa, Queensland
  Super King Air Cairns International Airport, Queensland
  Super King Air Townsville, Queensland
Western Operations
(14 PC-12, 1 Hawker 800XP)
  PC-12 Perth-Jandakot Airport, Western Australia
  PC-12 Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
  PC-12 Meekatharra, Western Australia
  PC-12 Port Hedland, Western Australia
  PC-12 Derby, Western Australia

Current Aircraft Inventory
Royal Flying Doctor Service

Aircraft Type Total
Role Origin
Beech Super King Air 200 12 12 Flying Doctor USA
Beech Super King Air 200C 20 20 Flying Doctor USA
Beech Super King Air 350C 2 2 Flying Doctor USA
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan 2 2 Flying Doctor USA
Hawker 800XP 1 1 Flying Doctor USA
Pilatus PC-12 31 31 Flying Doctor Switzerland

All-Time Aircraft Used List
Royal Flying Doctor Service

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
Auster J 3 1954 1958 UK
Avro Anson ? 1949 1956 RAAF
Beagle 206 1 1967 ? UK
Beech 17 Staggerwing 1 1954 1956 USA
Beech 55 Baron ? 1963 1978 USA
Beech Travel Air 1 1965 ? USA
Beech Queen Air A80 3 1967 1979 USA
Beech Queen Air B80 4 1977 1990 USA
Beech Duke ? 1972 ? USA
Beech King Air C90 4 1986 2004 USA
Beech Super King Air 200 12 1990 current USA
Beech Super King Air 200C 20 1986 current USA
Beech Super King Air 350C 2 2012 current USA
Cessna 180 ? 1957 ? USA
Cessna 182 ? 1959 ? USA
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan 2 2010 current USA
Cessna 404 Titan ? 1997 2005 USA
Cessna 421B Golden Eagle ? 1975 1986 USA
Cessna 425 Conquest I ? 1986 ? USA
Cessna 441 Conquest II ? 1986 ? USA
de Havilland D.H.50 2 1928 1934 leased
de Havilland D.H.83 Fox Moth 3 1934 1943 leased
de Havilland D.H.84 Dragon 8 1940 1955 leased
de Havilland D.H.89 Dragon Rapide ? ? ? leased
de Havilland D.H.104 Dove ? 1959 ? leased
De Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover 6 1950 1968 Australia
GAF N22 Nomad 3 1978 ? leased
Hawker 800XP 1 2009 current USA
Pilatus PC-12 31 1995 current Switzerland
Piper Aztec 2 1970 1970 leased
Piper Cherokee ? ? ? USA
Piper PA-31 Navajo ? ? ? USA
Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain ? 1977 ? USA
Piper PA-31P Mojave ? 1985 ? USA