President-elect Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he will be canceling the building of a new 747 Air Force One. He believes the $4 billion cost is outrageous.
Politico reports, “Later Tuesday morning, Trump spoke briefly with the assembled media in the lobby of Trump Tower, where he elaborated on his Twitter post decrying Boeing’s Air Force One project.
“The plane is totally out of control. It’s going to be over $4 billion for Air Force One program and I think it’s ridiculous,” he said. “I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money.”
Boeing did not immediately return a request for comment on Trump’s social media post.
The Pentagon announced the deal with Boeing last January, awarding an initial contract worth nearly $26 million for initial research for the new planes, according to Reuters. The Defense Department awarded an additional $127.3 million contract in July to develop interior, power and electronic specifications for the next-generation aircraft, according to FlightGlobal, a publication that covers the aviation industry.
The Air Force said previously that it had earmarked $1.65 billion for two new presidential aircraft, which will be four-engine Boeing 747-8s.
In addition to the presidential aircraft that Trump will fly on as president, the Manhattan billionaire maintains a personal fleet that includes two planes and three helicopters. The New York Times reported last April that four of Trump’s five aircraft are more than 20 years old, which is rare for someone of the president-elect’s wealth. According to the Times, Trump’s largest, and favorite, aircraft from the fleet is his 1991 Boeing 757, which has brushed 24-karat gold fixtures and leather toilet seats.
President Barack Obama voiced a similar concern shortly after taking office in 2009, when Reuters reported that he told a group of lawmakers that costs for a Lockheed-Martin program to replace the presidential helicopter fleet had “gone amok.” He told that group, gathered at the White House, that reining in military spending would be “one of our highest priorities” and added that “the helicopter I have now seems perfectly adequate to me.”
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