Must Be Maintained To Perfection
Because of Air Force One’s particular function, it must be kept in as close to perfect condition at all times. This is to reduce the potential for any type of devastating accident. The team of contractors that are assigned to maintain the plane has a very strict set of protocols to maintain. Other than keeping the aircraft in pristine condition, both inside and out, the contractors are charged with checking every inch of the plane, even down to the fuel that goes into its tanks. When not in use, the planes are under heavily armed, round the clock guard, in a hangar at Andrews Air Force Base just outside of DC.
Hard On The Pocket Book
Because of its sheer size, Air Force One is pretty costly to run. It has been reported that for the 2016 fiscal year alone, the cost to operate Air Force One in the air was a staggering $180,000 an hour. Because of this massive cost, lawmakers have been calling the presidents to task on what is seen as the unnecessary, even referred to as frivolous and partisan, outings of the aircraft. However, it should be noted that these squabbles over what is deemed unnecessary uses of the aircraft are in no way new. And to be honest, will continue to happen with each new president.
Press In Tow
It is pretty much common knowledge that when the POTUS travels he has somewhat of a large entourage. Those included are senior aides, national security, domestic, and economic advisors. It is also well known that the POTUS travels with press members on board as well. Those on board, totaling thirteen in all, are handpicked by the POTUS administration as the “eyes and ears” of the people. They are there, on their news organization’s expense, to cover all the details surrounding the POTUS trips. There represent all wings of the media, including wire services, newspapers, news site, broadcast television, and radio.