It's Official: Boeing Will Get $3.9 Billion to Build New Air Force One
The White House confirmed Wednesday that plane builder Boeing will be getting $3.9 billion to build two new Air Force One aircraft for use by future US presidents.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed on Wednesday that the contract had been signed. "Yesterday, the United States Air Force awarded a firm fixed price contract to The Boeing Company to design, modify, test, certify and deliver two Presidential, mission-ready aircraft by 2024," Sanders said in a statement.
The two new Boeing 747-8 aircraft will replace the current two Air Force One planes, which were ordered by Ronald Reagan and are now about 30 years old. The replacement effort for the new presidential planes began in 2011.
In December 2016, however, then President-Elect Donald Trump called the order into question, when he tweeted the costs for the two aircraft were too high.
The price for the new Air Force One order was then negotiated down to the current $3.9 billion. In her statement, Sanders says the order will save "the taxpayers over $1.4 billion from the initially proposed $5.3 billion-plus contract."
Trump has also said he wants to change more than just the price of the planes. He says the new jets will have a completely redesigned livery than the current two-tone shades of light blue. Trump wants a red, white and blue color scheme, which he says is "more American."
“It’s going to be the top of the line, the top in the world,” Trump told CBS. “And it’s going be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate.”
The current color scheme has been in place since the first modern Air Force One aircraft were ordered in the 1960s by the Kennedy Administration, and it was designed in part by both President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.