Canberra has announced a deal to lease eight Diamond DA40 NG light aircraft, for use by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) cadets.

The ten-year contract will see the aircraft leased from local aviation services firm Airflite, which will also provide maintenance support.

“Over the next ten years these aircraft will provide a standardised flight training platform for aspiring young airmen and women, particularly those in regional areas,” says Darren Chester, minister for defence personnel.

“Airflite has been the principal maintenance contractor for the Royal Australian Air Force PC-9/A aircraft and has provided outstanding support for the past 30 years.”

The aircraft will be based at RAAF Amberley, RAAF Richmond, and RAAF Point Cook. During weekends and school holidays they will be deployed to regional areas.