Tags: Travel | Trump Administration | transportation | secretary | elaine chao | private jets

Transportation Secretary Chao Used FAA Jets Seven Times

Transportation Secretary Chao Used FAA Jets Seven Times
Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (Hunter Dyke/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 05 October 2017 03:16 PM

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has used jets from the government's private fleet a number of times this year in official capacity, according to a new report.

The Washington Post reported Chao, who in the past served as President George W. Bush's secretary of labor throughout his presidency, has utilized aircraft in an FAA fleet that are based at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport seven times.

The fleet includes a Gulfstream IV, which the FAA owns, and two leased Cessna business jets.

Chao's spokeswoman Marianne McInerney told the Post, "The secretary prefers to travel commercial and does so whenever possible."

Chao has used commercial flights on 38 occasions this year and "typically flies coach," McInerney added.

Chao has apparently used the fleet of government planes only when commercial flights did not make sense financially for the government. Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, travels with a staff and a small security detail everywhere she goes.

"The secretary is very sensitive to concerns about appropriate use of taxpayers' funds," McInerney told the Post. "She always tries to travel in the most cost-efficient manner possible."

Past secretaries of transportation have used the planes, according to the Post. Other government agencies can use them at a cost of $5,644 per hour for the Gulfstream IV and $4,922 per hour for each of the Cessnas.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigned last week after it became public he racked up more than $1 million in travel expenses related to he and his entourage using private and military jets.

There have been reports of other Cabinet members using non-commercial flights for government travel, including Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

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Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has used jets from the government's private fleet a number of times this year in official capacity, according to a new report.
transportation, secretary, elaine chao, private jets
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2017-16-05
Thursday, 05 October 2017 03:16 PM
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