Plans to move a search and rescue force from a Cornish RAF base have been delayed by six months.
Up to 500 civilian staff at the base will keep their jobs for longer
The force at St Mawgan was to move in April 2007, but this has been delayed until October 2007.
The move means Cornwall County Council has more time to get Newquay Airport to reach civilian aviation standards needed after the MoD leaves.
The airport was facing having to close for several months for upgrading work to be carried out.
When the military presence is completely withdrawn, the civilian airport, which uses the same site, will have to provide its own runway maintenance, firefighter cover and air traffic control.
It was facing temporary closure to carry out the upgrading work if the military pull-out was completed before the work was finished.
But the pull-out delay will give Cornwall County Council more time to ensure the airport meets Civil Aviation Authority standards.
The decision also means a temporary reprieve for up to 500 civilian staff due to lose their jobs when military activity ceases.
The MoD confirmed the Search and Rescue (SAR) force at St Mawgan would move to RAF Valley in north Wales in October 2007.
The MoD said about St Mawgan: "The airfield will remain open, and the MoD will continue to provide aviation support operations at their current level until the SAR force leave.
"Military flying at RAF St Mawgan will cease when the SAR force withdraws.
"The Ministry of Defence will continue to support Cornwall County Council and Newquay Airport as they plan to take over running of St Mawgan's airfield as a wholly civil operation when the SAR Operational Conversion Unit leaves."