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Presidential Travel Study Update

Dan Barrett
December 3, 2010

President Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan last night and into today. The 26-hour round trip from Washington D.C. to Bagram Air Base will cost taxpayers at least $4.7 million in Air Force One costs alone. The cost includes maintenance, fuel, and aircraft overhauls. However, the figure does not include the security entourage or vehicles accompanying the President.

This trip to Afghanistan will total 16 foreign trips, totaling 56 days. President George H. W. Bush is the next most traveled President at 54 days during his first two years in office.

Calculations for Air Force One flight hour costs were included in NTUF’s latest Issue Brief #161: Incredible Journey: How Barack Obama Became the Most-Traveled President His First Two Years in Office by Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady. The paper is a survey of international travel made by Presidents Eisenhower through Obama and the costs associated with operating Air Force One in the past two decades.


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