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Obama’s Euro-Trip Air Force One Flights Cost over $6.6 Million
March 24, 2014
The most internationally well-traveled President, through five years, is also flying the most expensive-to-operate Air Force One to date. (For analysis of Presidential travel over the first five years, click HERE.)
As reported in the Washington Examiner last month, new records obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request show that it cost about $228,288 per flight hour to operate Air Force One in FY 2013. That figure represents a 27 percent increase from the previously confirmed $179,750 cost that NTUF used in our last study of Presidential Travel.
Taken on its own, the $48,535 jump may not sound all that significant. However, when trips are many thousands of miles and span several time zones and continents, the difference can quickly add up.
For example, the President’s current European trip will likely involve about 29 hours of total travel time, assuming a cruising speed of 575 mph between Washington, Amsterdam, Brussels, Rome, and Riyadh, and then back to D.C. Using the previous estimate, the total cost of flying Air Force One between those international cities would be about $5,212,750. Using the new data, the cost comes out to $6,620,352.
While these figures are approximations, and do not account for the additional (and likely greater) expenses of transporting the President’s Secret Service and diplomatic entourage, backup aircraft, land vehicles, and advance security teams, it goes to show that higher Air Force One operational costs substantially change the budgetary magnitude of these trips.
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