A $385 million upgrade at East Sale RAAF Base is nearing completion.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester inspected progress and said the final stage of works were expected to be completed next year.
Mr Chester said the works would enable the relocation of the Basic Flight Training School from Tamworth, meaning all pilots for the Air Force, Navy and Army would all commence training in Sale.
“The Basic Flight Training School is estimated to deliver an economic boost worth $15 million per year to the local economy,” Mr Chester said.
“This is in addition to the current defence contribution of $12 million each year in direct wages and supplies.
“The East Sale RAAF Base is vital to the Gippsland regional economy.
“Local business has a long and proud relationship of working with defence and I was particularly pleased to see a range of local contractors working on site.”
Mr Chester said he caught up with workers from GBG Sale, M&P Painting Traralgon, Cameron Outdoor Landscape Bairnsdale, and Laser Plumbing Sale.
More than 1000 people have so far been employed at the base during the construction period.
Air Force will commence PC-21 based training from January 2018, which will result in an intake of 165 trainee pilots, plus teachers and support staff.
The Basic Flight Training School will be relocated to Sale from 2019.