According to a recent report from Business Insider, the new and improved Air Force Ones that President Trump has helped re-design will cost upwards of $5.2 billion, which wouldn’t be so bad — if that amount wasn’t about $2 billion more than the initial estimate three years ago.
The project entails the modification of two Boeing VC-25s to meet the special demands of a flying White House. The VC-25 is to a 747 what a base model car is to one with all the latest options, creature comforts and performance packages, which in this case includes a specially requested red, white and blue custom paint job by the current commander-in-chief.
It’s worth noting that the base sticker price of these planes would be around $700 million.
While cost overruns are nothing new when it comes to government-procured aircraft, it’s ironic that the same project which the president originally used for touting his deal-making skills is now costing twice as much as the $1 billion cost savings that he was able to negotiate.
Boeing will reportedly be paid $3.9 billion to build the jets, with an additional $1.3 billion being allocated for new hangars and other infrastructure costs. While the actual features and upgrades are understandably being kept under wraps, President Trump has said he “added things.”
The original timeline for completion of the two new Air Force One aircraft was 2024. President Trump has requested this be moved up to 2021. Whether he will get to enjoy the next presidential plane will be determined next November.