Singapore is eying Ohakea air base in Manawatu as a potential base for one of its own Air Force squadrons of F15 fighter jets. Up to 500 people would be stationed in or near the base in the region.
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee confirmed that the Singapore Government in undertaking a feasibility study to determine what the move would entail, including housing and education needs of family.
That study needed to be completed before any proposal could be put before the Singapore or New Zealand Governments.
Brownlee said that Singapore's position in Southeast Asia so close to Malaysia and near Indonesia meant that air space was very tight.
"New Zealand doesn't have the same congestion so the opportunity to fly more freely clearly exists at Ohakea."
The Singapore Air Force has other overseas bases, in France, the United States and in Western Australia's Pearce Air Base where a squadron is based. (end of excerpt)
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