A Rooed Awakening For Australian Doctors

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

The Royal Flying Doctor Service, which dispatches medical help to Australia’s far-flung regions by air, has now relaxed restrictions on night flights after the communities it serves took steps to keep kangaroos off their airport runways. Last April, a medical flight hit kangaroos while landing at Coonamble in New South Wales. The Doctor Service then told the communities that it would only dispatch aircraft in the most urgent cases at night until something was done to improve safety. Last week, spokesman Roger Pethram said normal night flights resumed to 14 communities after they took action, usually at the expense of the kangaroos. "Most of them have carried out a cull but they've also improved their arrangements in a sense of making sure someone's going out to clear the roos off the runway before the aircraft lands so that's working quite well," he said. There’s also $22 million in funding available for airport fencing that should allow aircraft and wildlife to co-exist more happily. “One of the strong statements from the Department of Transport and regional services is that a priority is airstrips that the Royal Flying Doctor Service uses," Pethram said.