The hourly cost of flying Air Force One has risen to more than $200,000 per hour, a hefty increase that will result in taxpayers footing the bill for millions more in annual flying expenses for President Obama.
According to Air Force documents provided in response to a FOIA request from Judicial Watch, it appears the FY2014 cost of flying Air Force One has risen to $210,877 per hour from a level of about $180,000 earlier in the decade, a 17 percent increase. This is down, though, from an hourly cost of $228,288 the year before.
The increases make Obamas’ frequent vacations – particularly their annual trip to Hawaii – as well as his endless political travel, much more costly.
At about 17.5 hours roundtrip, the cost of taking Air Force One to Honolulu and back rises over $500,000, to a total of $3.7 million. And that doesn’t include the costs of any planes that travel with the Obamas.
Last year, the Obamas departed December 20th for Honolulu and returned January 5.
According to the Judicial Watch documents, a C-32a jet – a converted 757 of the type used to carry the vice president and other senior officials – was counted as part of the presidential party, mysteriously departing Andrews Air Force Base January 2 and then returning along with Air Force One January 5. The Air Force redacted the 12 names on the C-32a passenger list.
Obama also travels with at least one cargo plane.