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Arizona Gov. Ducey wants to reduce, consolidate state airplane fleet

PHOENIX — Following the Arizona Department of Transportation’s purchase of
a new airplane, Gov. Doug Ducey wants to pare down the state’s fleet.

Ducey is exploring the possibility of selling some of the 10 planes owned by
state agencies, reports the Arizona Capitol Times.

He also wants to consolidate the fleet, making the planes available to all
agencies, said spokesman Daniel Scarpinato.

The plan would save state money on maintenance and storage costs, said
Scarpinato. Consolidation would also eliminate the need for some agencies to
occasionally lease planes.

The Department of Public Safety and the Game and Fish Department each own four
planes, while ADOT owns two.

Ducey became interested in the subject in January, when he learned about ADOT’s
purchase of a second plane for about $6 million through a story by KTVK-TV in
Phoenix.

“Right now, you have planes that are sitting and not being utilized while we
may be out paying for another vehicle,” Scarpinato said. “We want less planes
overall. So we’re figuring out what’s most cost-effective, given what we have
in the fleet right now.”

The ADOT purchase was revealed as the state looked at a deficit of around $680
million for fiscal year 2016 and about $132 million for the current fiscal year.

The Governor’s Office is still reviewing the possibility of selling the new
airplane, but that is expected to come at a large financial loss to the state,
said Scarpinato.

He said the governor would prefer not have the new plane in the state’s
possession, but “if we have it, which at this point there’s nothing we can do
about that, we want to figure out, ‘Is there a way to get rid of some of these
other planes?'”

The chief of staff for former Gov. Jan Brewer said her administration was
unaware of the ADOT purchase until the KTVK-TV story.

Ducey could have been stuck with yet another plane if Brewer hadn’t halted a
planned purchase by DPS a few months before leaving office, said Scott Smith,
Brewer’s former chief of staff.

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Information from: Arizona Capitol Times, http://www.arizonacapitoltimes.com