Thursday, July 4, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

End Of An Era CQ Rescue Parts With RACQ

July 1 marked a momentous occasion for CQ Rescue as it commenced operations under its own CASA Air Operator Certificate, ushering in a new era for the region’s beloved rescue helicopter service. After years of preparation, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has granted CQ Rescue the authority to operate its own flight operations, eliminating the need to outsource to another company.
This change also signifies the end of RACQ's long-standing role as the naming rights sponsor. A CQ Rescue representative reflected on this transition with a mix of gratitude and optimism, stating, “The conclusion of our naming rights sponsorship with RACQ marks the end of an era, and the exciting start to a new one.
“For over two decades, their generous backing has empowered us to enhance our services and save countless lives. We extend our heartfelt thanks for their enduring partnership and support.”
CEO Tim Healee is immensely proud of his team, noting, "This milestone marks a significant step forward for CQ Rescue as we now have full control over our operations, ensuring the highest standards of safety and efficiency for the communities we serve.
“Over the past two years, our dedicated team has worked tirelessly to transform CQ Rescue, culminating in achieving our own AOC (Air Operator Certificate) and securing our future longevity.”
In preparation for this new direction, Mr. Healee and his team have scoured the country to assemble the most experienced and dedicated aviation leadership team.
“We have sourced the best talent to ensure that CQ Rescue is well-equipped to move forward as an independent operator and continue delivering exceptional service to our community.
“Our vision is to be Australia’s leading Aeromedical and Search and Rescue operator, recognised for our tenacious commitment to excellence,” he said.
As part of their commitment to the region, CQ Rescue will soon welcome two brand new AW139 aircraft. These state-of-the-art helicopters, costing $52 million, will fly 30 per cent further and 30 per cent faster, equipped with advanced technology to save more lives.
The new helicopters also mark a shift in the service's visual identity, evolving from the iconic yellow to a vibrant orange. This colour change symbolises energy, enthusiasm, courage, and compassion—values that resonate deeply with CQ Rescue's mission.
The vibrant orange with red hues mirrors the rich colours of the region's rugged landscape, embodying the resilience and strength of rural communities. The blue, synonymous with CQ Rescue for decades, remains a part of their solid foundation, representing the brilliant skies and ocean colours of the area.
CQ Rescue also acknowledges the increased operational costs with gratitude towards the State government and QLD Health, who have agreed to boost their support to ensure the continuity of this essential service.
In addition to the new aircraft and operational autonomy, CQ Rescue is excited to welcome new supporters to their family. The details of these partnerships will be revealed at the unveiling of the new helicopter.
“This is more than just a change in operations; it's an opportunity to reaffirm our dedication to saving lives and serving our community with the highest standards of excellence.”

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