WASHINGTON, D.C. — Summer in Washington usually is a time for visitors to take over the city to see the monuments, archives, and famous places, while the federal government slows down with legislators away and government offices shuffling along with vacation-depleted staffs and less urgency to projects. That often means a scarcity of news affecting general aviation, but let’s see what might be found.
Members of Congress ripped into CEOs of the three major auto companies last year for using corporate aircraft to arrive here for testimony at hearings. Apparently, some legislators believe more in “do what I say” than in “do what I do.”
The Air Force recently asked for one Gulfstream 550 jet — priced at about $65 million — to upgrade its travel. The House Appropriations Committee approved that and then added $132 million to the 2010 defense appropriations bill for two more Gulfstreams, with the specification that they be assigned to Washington to transport members of Congress and other top officials.
According to Roll Call, a Capitol Hill publication centered on Congress, the aircraft for the Air Force are less plush than those for civilian use. Pity the poor members of Congress who must travel in such degrading conditions, but then we all must make some sacrifices.