Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre

Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre an interactive centre where visitors can choose to take part in a tour, stroll through the Museum, have a bite to eat in the Café, and wander through the gift shop to find that special gift to take home. The interactive museum tells the story of the Royal Flying Doctor Service which provides health services to people living, working or travelling in rural and remote communities within Australia.

Location: 8 Stuart Terrace, The Gap, Alice Springs. Ph (08) 8952 1129. Entry fees apply.

About the Royal Flying Doctor Service

The Royal Flying Doctor Service began as the dream of the Rev John Flynn, a minister with the Presbyterian Church. He witnessed the daily struggle of pioneers living in remote areas where just two doctors provided the only medical care for an area of almost 2 million square kilometres. Flynn’s vision was to provide a ‘mantle of safety’ for these people and on 15 May 1928, his dream had become a reality with the opening of the Australian Inland Mission Aerial Medical Service (later renamed the Royal Flying Doctor Service) in Cloncurry, Queensland.

Central Operations for South Australia and the Northern Territory was formed in 1936 and initially operated (from 1937) as the South Australian Section out of Broken Hill jointly with the New South Wales Section. The first base owned and operated independently by SA Section was opened in Alice Springs in 1939. The SA Section became Central Operations in 2001.


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Until the 1960s, the Service rarely owned its own aircraft. They used contractors to provide aircraft, pilots and servicing, but progressively began to purchase their own aircraft and employ our own pilots and engineers.

Today, the Service owns a fleet of 61 fully instrumented aircraft with the very latest in navigation technology. They operate 21 bases across Australia. Pilots annually fly the equivalent of 25 round trips to the moon and its doctors and flight nurses are responsible for the care of over 270,000 patients.

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