|Angel Flight service for those in medical need|
|Tuesday, 02 February 2010 00:00|
All flights are free and assist patients or compassionate carers travelling to or from medical facilities anywhere in Australia.
Angel Flight pilots do not carry aeromedical staff or medical equipment so do not act as an alternative to the Flying Doctor (RFDS) or Air Ambulance in that capacity.
They have conducted over 8000 Angel Flight missions helping over 1800 patients, carers and family members since they began in 2003.
Patients of all ages needing medical treatment at destinations where other forms of transport are physically and emotionally taxing or unaffordable can access the service as can patient carers who need to attend for compassionate reasons.
Blood and blood products and medical drugs can also be transported using the service.
The service is accessed via registered Health Professionals (i.e. medical practitioners, nurses, social workers) and other people from whom ‘mission requests’ are received.
Angel Flight pilots donate their time, their skills and the bulk of their aircraft costs for each flight.
Volunteer pilots’ and aircraft owners’ flight credentials exceed the requirements of CASA and the aircraft meet specified CASA and insurance minimums.
Geographically, Angel Flight serves the medically needy Australia-wide with a network of pilots and aircraft in all states and territories which is growing as the word spreads. Pilot registrations are approaching 2200.
To help offset the pilots’ operating costs, Angel Flight negotiates the waiver of landing fees at airports around the country.
Airservices Australia reverse any air navigation charges. Angel Flight pays for fuel used by pilots when they conduct an Angel flight. Donations received are used to fully subsidise these fuel costs.
Although Angel Flight pilots donate their time and the bulk of their aircraft operating expenses, the service still needs lots of other help. Car transportation for patients and carers, fundraising and running information booths at special events, schools and air shows are just a few ways in which their ground volunteers, who are affectionately known as ‘Earth Angels’, help out.
Donations are used to pay for:
Angel Flight Australia is the initiative of Bill Bristow AM, a successful businessman, experienced pilot and very proud winner of the Australian of the Year Award - Queensland 2005.
In 2009, Bill was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for service to rural and remote communities through the establishment of Angel Flight Australia and as a supporter of charitable organisations.
With its current resources and infrastructure Angel Flight can accept and co-ordinate up to 10 flights per day.