DEFENCE chiefs have confirmed that basic flying training could be re-located to Wales from RAF Linton-on-Ouse – but not until the end of the decade.

They have stressed that no final decisions have yet been taken on the proposals to move the training to RAF Valley in Anglesey.

As previously reported, MP Anne McIntosh, whose Thirsk and Malton constituency includes the airbase, was seeking an early meeting with the Defence Secretary amid media reports in Wales that Ascent, a defence consortium, was to take the training to Valley.

The Ministry of Defence said last night it could confirm that Affinity had been selected as the preferred bidder on the Fixed Wing Flying Training Programme but the contract had not yet been awarded and no final decisions had been made.

“Under the Affinity proposals, basic fast jet training would be conducted from RAF Valley,” said a spokeswoman.

“Should this be the case, the training at RAF Valley would not start until the end of the decade, giving us time to put appropriate plans and support in place.”