TWO new rescue helicopters destined for Cairns and Townsville will be purpose-built from scratch.
The State Government confirmed last month it would replace the current Rescue 510 chopper and Townsville's equivalent with brand new aircraft, leaving the Cairns helicopter as the back-up for both cities.
It came after months of calls for action with no redundancy available in the area when the choppers were down for maintenance.
Barron River MP Craig Crawford told the Cairns Post the new helicopters might still be more than 12 months away because it was "a matter of waiting for them to be built".
"They are made to order. We are in line to have them constructed," he said. Agusta, which manufactures the helicopter, is based in Italy. The helicopters would need to be shipped to Australia.
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