TAMWORTH Regional Council has already begun preparing back-up options, should its pilot school deal with Virgin Australia fall through.
Tamworth mayor Col Murray has requested an urgent meeting with the new Virgin Australia CEO, Paul Scurrah.
The $30-million proposal is currently being investigated by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). It was recently revealed the pilot school Virgin is partnering with is owned by two Chinese companies with strong links to the Chinese Communist Party.
The FIRB application is just one hurdle along the journey for Tamworth's proposed flight school, a Virgin spokeswoman said.
The Virgin senior management who tabled the Tamworth flight school have since left the company and all deals are under review.
Mr Scurrah, who started in March, will scrutinise each account under the company, the spokeswoman said.
"No binding contracts have been signed between Virgin Australia and any party at this point in time," she said.
"If we proceed, the Tamworth flight school will provide training and education to pilots from Australia and the world, establishing a credible pipeline into the industry which is facing a global pilot shortage."
Virgin will not enter into a lease agreement with Tamworth Regional Council until the FIRB application is approved.
Cr Murray was confident Tamworth would have a pilot training school one way or another.
"It would be fair to say - and it would only be my opinion - that with or without Virgin, that pilot training facility will be running at or near capacity in the next 18 months," he said.
"I wouldn't say confident is the right word. I would say I know it will be, because the negotiations are already under way.
"While council is and always has been accommodating of a Virgin presence at the airport.... there are certainly plenty of other alternatives and council is securing its investment in to those facilities by making sure we've actually got a positive cash flow return."
Despite the uncertainly around the Virgin deal, council has put out a tender for an operator of its residential facility at the airport, which is currently run by BAE, who is winding down its operations.
"We do have other tenants using that facility now," Cr Murray said.
"CAE Oxford is a tenant out there now. They are the largest pilot trainer in the world.
"We're only just in the process now of firming up agreements for them to secure their tenure for the immediate future and discussing the long-term future.
"Their pilot numbers will take up half the capacity of the accommodation out there within a year."