9 Dec 2009

Defence Minister still hopeful of Skyhawk sale

5:54 pm on 9 December 2009

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp is still hopeful that the sale of the country's mothballed Skyhawks and Aermacchi jet trainers will go ahead.

The United States government approved the sale of the planes to an Arizona-based pilot training company two months ago, after an application was lodged four years ago.

But the $155 million sale has not progressed, prompting Associate Minister Heather Roy to suggest other options might need to be explored including scrapping them.

But Dr Mapp says the situation is a long way from that.

He says the sale is still on the table and the company concerned has sent pilots to test the planes.

Dr Mapp says the company just has to come up with the money.