23 Sep 2010

Skyhawk deal extended

10:01 pm on 23 September 2010

United States authorities have given a 12-month extension to the American company wanting to buy New Zealand's 17 mothballed Skyhawk fighter aircraft.

But New Zealand Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says he is only prepared to give Tactical Air Services until Christmas before pulling the plug on the deal.

Dr Mapp says the company has told the Ministry of Defence it still intends to buy the Skyhawks but he will believe it when he sees it.

He says the company had been unable to proceed with the sale in the previous 12 months despite having approval from the US for it.