Gulfstream's Jets are Work Horses
August 18, 2009
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  • SHORT-SIGHTED CRITICS who are questioning the federal government’s decision to buy three Gulfstream jets for the U.S. Air Force are playing to the cheap seats, not taking the long view of what’s best for taxpayers and national security.

    The recent decision by the House Appropriations Committee to buy the Gulfstream G550s business jets to ferry top government officials and members of Congress is a sound one.

    Take costs.

    The long-range flight capacity of the G550 easily links Washington with far-flung cities like Dubai, Singapore and Toyko, and its interior can be configured to include work spaces for up to 18 passengers.

    Compare that to the Air Force’s existing aircraft. The planes are older, less efficient and slower.

    Commercial airlines aren’t always a bargain either.

    Imagine how much it would cost taxpayers to send high-ranking generals and their staffs to meetings in far-flung places around the world on commercial jets. Some airlines don’t even fly to places these officials visit. Time and money would be wasted getting them to their destinations.

    Take security. Getting U.S. officials around the globe safely must be a priority.

    Imagine the cost if a top official was taken hostage or injured while flying commercial to a high-risk region. A corporate jet reduces the danger.

    Unfortunately, it’s easy to take pot shots at corporate jets, which some view as symbols of greed. But when properly used, these planes are work horses that pay for themselves over time.

    We applaud the House committee’s decision to buy three Gulfstream G550s, which are manufactured in Savannah, for nearly $200 million. Neither the Air Force nor taxpayers will be disappointed.

    Date: 2009-08-10