Taxpayers pick up component of the tab when a chairman makes campaign trips ~ above Air force One, but with rarely exceptions that"s the only setting of air take trip the President deserve to use.

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Published18 October 2016

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It expenses American taxpayers approximately $200,000 one hour every time chairman Obama travel in Air pressure One to campaign for Hillary Clinton.
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What"s TrueTaxpayers foot component of the bill when the President offers Air force One for campaigning purposes.


What"s False

The true cost of operation Air force One is likely a great deal much less than $200,000 every hour, and also the chairman is required to reimburse the federal government for the tantamount commercial cost of project travel.


The image shown above, stating that it expenses U.S. taxpayers $200,000 every hour come maintain and also operate the main White house jet, Air pressure One, to be circulated greatly in the last months the the 2016 presidential campaign, during which President Obama made at least a dozen trips about the country to stump for other Democrat Hillary Clinton.

It echoed a emotion tweeted that July by Republican candidate Donald Trump, that complained that taxpayers were paying a “fortune” for Obama and also Clinton to take Air force One to north Carolina for a joint campaign appearance:

Why is chairman Obama allowed to usage Air force One top top the campaign trail v Crooked Hillary? She is flying v him tomorrow. That pays?

— Donald J. Trump (
realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2016

Taxpayers space paying a fortune because that the use of Air pressure One on the campaign trail by chairman Obama and Crooked Hillary. A complete disgrace!

— Donald J. Trump card (
realDonaldTrump) July 5, 2016


These space worthwhile questions to ask: exactly how much does that really cost to operate Air pressure One? and also is that true that taxpayers need to foot the whole bill, also when the president no traveling on main business?

The first question to think about is just how much the use of Air force One really costs U.S. Taxpayers. The “$200,000 every hour” cost of Air pressure One (or, an ext specifically, of the Boeing VC-25A aircraft on i beg your pardon the President usually travels) is a generally cited figure, however it is both variable and also highly misleading. Because that starters, the nationwide Taxpayers Union structure (NTUF) report in April 2016 the the cost per flight hour (CPFH) because that Air pressure One had diminished in the last couple of years:

The most quickly quantifiable article to estimate is the expense to run Air force One (AF1), a Boeing VC-25A, the armed forces version that the 747 aircraft. Some an excellent news because that taxpayers is the the costs per flight hour for AF1 has gone under again. In 2013, it expense $228,288. Critical year, it was reported at $206,337 per trip hour. In solution to a freedom of info Act (FOIA) inquiry filed by justice Watch, the Air pressure reported that the FY 2016 price per trip hour because that the AF1 is $180,118.

The main issue with this dollar figure is the it’s not really informative since we nothing know just how much Air pressure One expenses when the chairman isn’t making use of it. That is, expense per trip hour (CPFH) is generally determined by dividing fixed prices (or operating and also support costs) through the number of hours flown — for this reason an plane that is really expensive to maintain yet is flown reasonably little (as Air pressure One is) will have a high CPFH, however most that those prices will be occurs whether the aircraft is supplied or not.

As a ridiculously simplistic example, let’s mean you very own a little plane that you pay $10,000 every month (or $120,000 per year) come maintain and also store in a hangar, and also once every year you put $1,000 precious of fuel in that plane and paris it because that an hour. Her CPFH because that the year would be a whopping $121,000, even though you would have actually spent $120,000 that that had you never used the airplane at all. Moreover, if friend bought $10,000 worth of fuel and flew the airplane for ten hours, her CPFH would drop all the means to $13,000 even though you in reality spent an ext money on your airplane.

Air force One likely has actually a very high solved cost since it needs to be repeatedly maintained, inspected, secured, crewed, and prepped to fly in ~ a moment’s notice, but due to the fact that it doesn’t generally log a lot of trip hours (especially when contrasted to the common commercial airliner), it has actually a relatively high CPFH — and as noted, taxpayers would certainly be footing the bill for those hefty fixed costs whether the chairman flew or not. The CPFH number is also highly misleading due to the fact that if the President provided Air pressure One much more often than he in reality does, that added usage would reason the CPFH to drop, and also it would certainly paradoxically seem together the president were saving taxpayer money through spending an ext of it.

Whatever the true cost of the President’s using Air pressure One might be, how much the that cost do U.S. Taxpayers bear once the objective of the trip is political? the side of the equation is much less clear. Federal Election commission rules require that the government be reimbursed for everything percentage of a President’s pilgrimage is devoted to campaigning, based on the cost of chartering a similar-sized (or contempt smaller) commercial plane to carry campaign-related personnel on an identical trip. According come the Washington Post, that expense is currently around $11,000 per hour. Us don’t know specifically how much an ext it expenses taxpayers when Air force One is in the air quite than ~ above the ground, yet it’s probably greater than $11,000 per hour (and quite a bit much less than $200,000 per hour).

This worry is miscellaneous of an can not use one for a president — it’s no illegal for a president to spend time campaigning, for himself or because that others, yet with rare exceptions the president isn’t allowed to take trip on any aircraft various other than Air force One. And President Obama (or his party) is already paying much more for project use of Air pressure One 보다 his predecessor did: before 2009 (when Barack Obama took office), the presidential reimbursement for political travel just amounted to a couple of hundred dollars every hour, so president George W. Shrub paid significantly less per trip to take Air force One on political trips 보다 President Obama does.

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In the particular case the the project trip president Obama took v Hillary Clinton to phibìc Carolina, official paperwork verified that the Clinton project reimbursed the government $36,602.99 for the usage of Air pressure One top top 5 July 2016 — quite close come the walk rate, it sound like, however perhaps tho no cheap for the American people.