How Expensive Is Air Force One?

The cost of flying the President of the United States on Air Force One is continuing to skyrocket. In 2014, documents released after a Freedom of Information request showed that it costs the Air Force $228,288 (USD) an hour to fly the presidential airplane -- an amount that includes fuel, onboard food and drink, repair costs, and aircraft and engine overhaul. Just two years earlier, the hourly cost was estimated at $179,750.

Air Force One is essentially a three-level Oval Office in the sky -- a retrofitted Boeing 747 with 4,000 square feet (371.6 square meters) of interior space. The presidential airplane includes a conference room, a dining room, private quarters for the president, offices for staff, a medical operating room, a press area and two food prep galleys capable of serving 100 meals.

More on presidential travel in Air Force One:

  • All US presidents use the plane for official business and vacations, though a president is never really able to leave the job behind. So taxpayers foot the bill for travel such as President Obama's trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland (with the First Lady and their daughters) in 2013, which cost almost $8 million.
  • The National Taxpayer Union Foundation says Obama has traveled internationally more than any other president. However, George W. Bush took more vacation days than any other president. He was out of the office for 879 days during his 8-year term.
  • Air Force One can fly the 6,205 miles (9,986 km) from Washington, D.C., to Baghdad, Iraq, without stopping for fuel. However, the plane can be refueled in-flight in case of an emergency.
More Info: Washington Examiner

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