Making Government Operations More Open

Obama's Air Force One flight to Chicago and back Monday to cost $236,000

Secret Service protection, motorcades and helicopter transports not included

As President Barack Obama flies Monday to Chicago for a midday speech on health-care reform, the round trip on Air Force One will run about $236,000, according to government estimates of the operating costs for one of the top symbols, and perks, of the presidency.

But that does not include such expenses as Secret Service protection, motorcades and helicopter transports.

After landing at O'Hare International Airport, Obama is scheduled to spend about 2 1/2 hours here. To avoid snarling traffic on the Kennedy Expressway, he likely will be taken from the airport by helicopter to a location near the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

A Government Accounting Office report in 2000 showed Air Force One cost $54,100 to operate each flight hour, or almost $67,000 in today's dollars. It is a tough number to estimate, however, because of so many variables and fixed costs that could be included in or excluded from the calculation.,0,2483578.story


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