The Flying Doctor is back

2009-10-10-EXPRESS-04

Firstly, I thank Mr. Affendi of Lembaga Sungai Sarawak who have called me regarding the media report (Courting danger on roofs of speeding boats) about the overloaded express boat carrying school children. It is the responsibility of the public to inform the agencies about issue like this. And, it is the responsibility of the parents, the students, the teachers, the PIBG, the boat operators and LSS to continously remind and to conduct talks and seminars of river safety. It is not a one-time off thing, but a continuous scheduled program.

Humans being human tend to forget the safety aspect of river transportation.

On the overdue issue of the Flying Doctor Service, scene (as in the photo) may not be captured if the Health Ministry have looked into the issue of the Flying Doctor Service is Sarawak. But, thank God that the ministry have awarded the service to Layang Layang Aerospace. And, over RTM Wai.fm this morning, we could listen to the FDS schedule again.. So, folks in Ulu Kota (in Pakan) and Long Moh (in Baram) can seek treatment this morning.

Layang Layang Aerospace gets FDS

By Puvaneswary Devindran
Source: Borneo Post

Company beats five others, including local hopeful Hornbill Skyways, to win lucrative contract

KUCHING: Layang Layang Aerospace Sdn Bhd has been awarded the contract to operate the Flying Doctor Service (FDS) and Emergency Medevac Services (EMS) in Sarawak. State health director Dr Kamil Hassan yesterday confirmed that his department had received a letter from the Health Ministry, stating the company was awarded the contract, and would begin service on Oct 1.Layang Layang Aerospace, formed in Miri, received its letter of award before Hari Raya Aidilfitri last month and had begun operation of the EMS on Oct 1 and FDS on Oct 12.A reliable source told The Borneo Post yesterday that the company had passed a probationary period when it was asked to assist in providing interim FDS in 2008 alongside Hornbill Skyways Sdn Bhd.

Layang Layang Aerospace is said to have five helicopters comprising one Eurocopter AS355 and four Eurocopter BO105. Both models are twin engine rotor aircraft. Three of the helicopters would handle the FDS while the remaining two cater to EMS. All five helicopters are on a ‘lease to purchase’, meaning the company is renting them now but will eventually own them after a certain period, said the source.

Both models are equipped with high frequency radio for coastal areas (as is normally used in the interior) and normal navigational frequency. The company is setting up offices in Kuching and Sib to better coordinate its services throughout the state.

Layang Layang Aerospace has 15 years’ experience in the aviation industry. Registered and started in Miri, it expanded to Sabah and set up operation base in Kota Kinabalu in February 2000.

The company provides the Skyvan service that delivers fuel to the highlands, especially the Bario, and has a chairman and board of directors experienced in the aviation industry.

Layang Layang Aerospace beat five other bidders to the contract: Hornbill Skyways Sdn Bhd, Sabah Air Sdn Bhd, Weststar Aviation Sdn Bhd, SAR Helicopters Sdn Bhd and Systematic Aviation Services Sdn Bhd (SAS).

Sarawak was without a permanent FDS and EMS Providing interim services to rural folk after the government terminated the contract of the previous operator, SAR Helicopters Sdn Bhd, in 2007.

After that Layang Layang Aerospace and Hornbill Skyways were called in to assist in providing interim services to rural folk.Hornbill Skyways, which had operated the FDS and EMS in the state for decades, got grounded in Sept 2004 following a spate of crashes involving its Bell 206 helicopters.

Hornbill Skyways executive chairman Aidan Wing on Thursday said Hornbill hoped to get back the contract since it had already spent RM70 million on new twin engine choppers to meet the contract’s expectations.

Aidan could not be reached for comments yesterday.

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