US President-elect Donald Trump demonstrated how serious he is about reducing federal government spending when he highlighted the high cost of acquiring a new Air Force One on Tuesday, a spokesman for Trump’s transition team said in a phone call with reporters.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump said he wants to cancel the $4 billion order for a new Air Force One from Boeing because the airplane’s price and the associated research and development program are “ridiculous.” “I think this really speaks to the president-elect’s focus on keeping costs down across the board with regard to government spending,” spokesman Jason Miller stated.
According to media reports, the Air Force has budgeted $1.65 billion for the new Air Force One plane between 2015 and 2019. Two planes will be needed to replace the two current Boeing 747-200 aircraft used by the US president. Those aircraft will reach their 30-year life expectancy in 2017.
Media reports have noted, however, the unique communications, safety and other required features so that the aircraft can operate as a mobile White House during any situation, which makes the airplane much more expensive to produce.