Travel of Government Officials on Government Aircraft

T-NSIAD-96-85: Published: Dec 29, 1995. Publicly Released: Dec 29, 1995.

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GAO discussed the use of military helicopters and other government aircraft to transport White House staff and senior-level military and civilian officials. GAO noted that: (1) White House staff members had flown in military helicopters 14 times from January 21, 1993 to May 24, 1994 without the accompaniment of the President, Vice President, First Lady, Vice-President's wife, or Heads of State; (2) Department of Defense (DOD) policy states that the military services' operational support airlift (OSA) inventory of fixed-wing aircraft should be based strictly on wartime requirements, but DOD has not provided guidance on how the services should count their OSA aircraft or determine their wartime requirements; (3) the April 1995 OSA inventory of 520 fixed wing aircraft exceeds the Air Force's wartime requirements; (4) the military helicopters located in the Washington, D.C. area are not justified based on OSA wartime requirements; (5) the most frequent flight for DOD senior officials is to or from Andrews Air Force Base, MD; (6) in response to GAO recommendations, the Joint Chiefs of Staff has recommended a reduction in the number of OSA aircraft and DOD has strengthened the policy governing the use of OSA aircraft by senior-level travelers; and (7) only 19 of 1,500 aircraft operated by civilian agencies are used to routinely transport senior-level officials.

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