06 September 2015
FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said just like when a shop in the main street loses a tenant there is disappointment, but he said there will be new opportunities for the BAE training base in Tamworth.
Mr Joyce was commenting on the announcement of the preferred tenderer for the new Australian Defence Force Pilot Training System, Lockheed Martin.
“Lockheed Martin, the successful tender winner is not in Tamworth, BAE is in Tamworth,” Mr Joyce said.
“However further opportunities are being progressed with other clients at Tamworth’s BAE facility, including the Republic of Singapore Air Force, the Royal Brunei Air Force and the Papua New Guinea Defence Force and interest will also be taken from commercial aviation operators,” he said.
Mr Joyce said the current contractor for the Basic Flight Training School in Tamworth BAE systems Australia, would continue to provide the ADF with high-quality basic pilot training through to the end of 2019.
“RAAF will continue to work closely with BAE over the next four years to actively promote the unique flight training opportunities offered at Tamworth,” Mr Joyce said.
“There are opportunities for other Air Forces and commercial pilot training to be delivered by BAE at their established training facility in Tamworth,” he said.
Mr Joyce said there were boundless opportunities for the future expansion of the Tamworth facility because parallel airports and airspace for future training are at a premium in a global manhunt for pilots.
“Tamworth has a proven facility and no doubt this facility will continue to grow,” he said.
“We have already seen an increased interest from the Republic of Singapore Air Force, which is a strong ally of Australia and a welcome guest in our city.”