President Brings Back $8.7 Million Air Force One Bill from Asia Trip

(Alexandria, VA) -- President Obama returns today from an eight-day journey through Asia, where he visited Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines while making two stops in the northwestern United States – adding up to just over 38 flight hours and a cost of $8.686 million for operating Air Force One, according to a National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF) analysis.

With this voyage to Tokyo, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila, NTUF’s ongoing study of Presidential Travel notes Barack Obama has now journeyed to 10 countries, spending 14 days abroad on 3 total trips this year. Just last month NTUF’s researchers determined that the current President was the most internationally traveled among his Jet Age predecessors after his first five years in office.

All told, during his tenure President Obama has now spent 133 days abroad on 34 total trips, including 73 stops.

“Presidential travel entails substantial planning, logistical support, security provisions, and, therefore presents significant costs for taxpayers,” said NTUF Policy Analyst Michael Tasselmyer.

“The $8.7 million price tag of operating Air Force One offers perspective on what some of those costs can be, even though the full extent of the fiscal impact remains unclear. Given that diplomacy is a vital part of the Chief Executive’s duties, this is only the latest reminder that taxpayers would benefit from greater transparency for travel expenditures no matter who occupies the White House,” Tasselmyer concluded.

The latest Air Force One cost per flight hour is $228,288. Flight time estimates were acquired from the White House schedule, media sources, and military flight speed data.

NTUF is the research affiliate of the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union, more information on NTUF is available at