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Community Rallies to Revive Andamooka Airstrip

Photo – Royal Flying Doctor Service
Melissa Smith

Andamooka Aims for Faster Access to the Royal Flying Doctor Service

Andamooka, in the outback of South Australia, has had its airstrip closed for over a decade, and a passionate hardworking group of locals are on a mission to have it upgraded. The revival of this essential service will guarantee reliable access to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).

Currently, locals rely on an 80-kilometre round-trip journey to Olympic Dam for critical medical evacuations by the RFDS. This means a significant delay in people receiving emergency care, potentially putting lives at risk.

Community Steps Up for Better Healthcare

But the little outback town isn’t taking this lying down and is actively seeking assistance to achieve its goal. A public meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 3, at the Andamooka Community Hall, to discuss the airstrip’s current state and the proposed improvements. Community members are encouraged to attend, volunteer their time and expertise for maintenance activities, or contribute resources to the project.

Andamooka isn’t completely in the land of medical darkness, having the services of a 24/7 on-call paramedic. Still, if a patient needs RFDS intervention, the paramedic has to transport them to Olympic Dam, leaving the town vulnerable in case of a second medical incident.

RFDS Medical Staff. Photo – Andamooka Observatory

Reopening Airstrip Benefits Everyone

Other than emergencies, the Andamooka Airstrip would also allow easier transport of RFDS crews and supplies to the many RFDS clinics operated out of Andamooka, including Primary Health, Remote Oral Health Care and Wellbeing and Mental Health.

The reopening of the airstrip will benefit more than just healthcare. Andamooka is experiencing a growth in tourism, and a functional airstrip would significantly improve accessibility for visitors and those attending future events.

Flying High by 2025

By 2025, the Andamooka community aims to have a fully operational airstrip that meets the RFDS’s standards. This critical infrastructure would reconnect Andamooka to the broader aviation network of the Outback, ensuring equitable access to the RFDS’s services, healthcare, and essential supplies.

Together, with the support of volunteers, organisations like the Roxby Downs and Andamooka Aero Club, Woomera Observatory, Andamooka Observatory, and Rotary Club of Roxby District, Andamooka hopes to secure a safe and healthy future for their community.

For more information about Andamooka and the Airstrip project, click here.


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