29 Aug 2010

NZ loses air training deal to France

6:01 pm on 29 August 2010

New Zealand has missed out on a deal whereby fighter pilots from Singapore would have been trained here.

Ohakea Air Force base in Manawatu was being considered as the main training centre, with a back-up operation at Whenuapai in West Auckland.

The deal hinged on whether Singapore signed with a consortium that wanted to teach the pilots in New Zealand.

But Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says Singapore has chosen a company that will do the training in France.

The prospect of the jets coming to New Zealand had excited the mayors of Manawatu and Waitakere, who believed there would have been economic benefits.