FL Governor Being Questioned On Decision To Sell State Aircraft

 

 
 
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FL Governor Being Questioned On Decision To Sell State Aircraft

By Jim Douglas
 

February 28, 2011 - In fulfillment of another campaign promise to the Florida Tea Party, Governor Rick Scott directed the Department of Management Services to accept two bids on the sale of two state-owned airplanes used by the governorís office and other state officials. 

Scott will not have to worry as he owns his own personal jet, a Hawker Beechjet 400A. The tail number's (N997RS) last two letters are his initials. The aircraft is owned by Columbia Collier Properties, LLC (Naples, FL) which is owned by the governor, Richard L. Scott Investments, LLC. 

ďJust as Floridaís families and businesses are forced to do more with less, state government must do the same. Burdening taxpayers with these ongoing expenses is irresponsible and not a core function for government to meet the stateís critical needs,Ē said Scott. 

Governor Rick Scott's Personal Private Jet. Hawker Beechjet 400A N997RS

It would appear that the governor, who ran on a platform of having business smarts during his campaign would aid him with bringing fiscal stability to the state, may have more of an ego than the actual business skill sets. 

The two aircraft sold included a 2003 Cessna Citation Bravo that was sold to a Mexican-American oil-field services firm, Transportes Internacionales Tamaulipecos, for $1.9 million and a 2000 King Air 350 that sold for $1.77 million to JNC Aircraft Sales of Washington, D.C. 

For a governor who is interested in responsible business fiscal management, it would have been smarter to have kept both aircraft rather than the governor using is own personal aircraft. 

Operating cost of all three aircraft (excluding pilots and their training and mortgage payment on aircraft):

 

- Operating cost for the Cessna Citation Bravo is $894.34 per hour with a fuel burn of 140 gallons per hour at a max cruise speed of 464 mph. This aircraft requires a flight crew of one. 

- Operating cost for the King Air 350 is $717.33 per hour with a fuel burn of 110 gallons per hour at a max cruise speed of 333 mph. This aircraft requires a flight crew of one. 

- Operating cost for the Hawker Beechjet 400A is $1,065.56 per hour with a fuel burn of 209 gallons per hour at a max cruise speed of 510 mph. This aircraft requires a crew of two (captain and co-pilot) 

In terms of luxury aircraft the Hawker Beechjet 400A is a better aircraft suited for personal and corporate use if you can afford it. However, for government use the Cessna Citation Bravo offers a greater savings of about $300 per hour. Now if you want to factor the labor cost on flying both jets, itís about $30 per hour more due to the need of requiring a second pilot on the Hawker Beechjet 400A. 

Now for the real question.  Will the state pick up the cost for Governor Scott to use his personal business jet for private and business travel? This is the same guy who bilked tax payers from billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid fraud and only had to pay back pennies on the dollar.

 
   

The checks have been cashed and the planes have been picked up by their new owners, but that isnít stopping State Senate Budget Chairman J.D. Alexander (Republican) from questioning Governor Scott over his authority to sell the official state aircraft. He believes that the governor has gone too far. 

Florida lawmakers have said that the governor has once again over stepped his legal authority and many Floridians are calling for the governor to step down amid a number of controversy by the governor. The more recent is not excepting federal aid to build high-speed rail in the state, the governor has said he will lay-off over 9,000 state employees and bust Floridaís unions.

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