Should Bush loan Obama Air Force One...

So he can attend his grandmother’s funeral in Hawaii?

I think he should. For all intents and purposes he is POTUS now, and for this trip only, President-Elect Obama should be afforded all of the protection for trans-Pacific travel that Air Force One allows, minus the call sign.

Thoughts? Alternatives?

The air force has lots of planes that would be safe for Obama. Heck, even his campaign plane is probably safe enough. I don’t see the need.

Doesn’t Air Force One designate the plane the president is on, and not a specific aircraft? If that is correct, then it’s not actually possible to loan out Air Force One, without sending the current president along with it.

They could lend out one of the 747s that make up the fleet of presidential airplanes.

Is it legal for the president to loan out government aircraft?

I’d be kind of shocked if the President-Elect didn’t get his own plane. Air Force Three, or something like that.

And, as I recall, whatever plane the President flies on is designated Air Force One. So, he might be willing to lend Obama the jet sitting out on the runway, but if Bush then needs to fly to Topeka to visit a groundhog stampede site, the cessna he’s flying in is Air Force One (this is from one of the nitpicks about Independence Day–the president’s fighter should have been designated Air Force One).

They did follow this rule in Air Force One, by the way.

Airforce One has a twin, but they always fly together, sort of. You know, decoy. In case you didn’t know. And it would never get loaned out, as you said. It’s a last resort for the current president should any danger arise.
It’s not necessary for Obama to need it. He will be under more than enough protection with the escort designated to him.

I’m sure any of Obama’s celebrity supporters (Warren Buffett, for example) have any number of suitable aircraft they could make available to him. That would probably be preferable to giving the right-wing water-carriers the “taxpayer money” argument, even if Bush volunteered an aircraft. Any plane he travels on will be secured by the Secret Service, anyway, so private aircraft would probably be the way to go.

I suppose that an arrangement could be made by which a nominal/partial reimbursement would be made by the Obama campaign and one of the aircraft of 1st Sqn, 89th Airlift Wing be detailed to carry the President-elect on this trip (It would be likelier that instead of the VC-25A (747), it were the C-32 (757ER) VIP transport, which Clinton and Bush have **also **used as AF1 and which often carries the VP, 1st. Lady and top Congressional and Cabinet officials.)

BUT, considering the capability for moving Mr. Obama around to any part of the USA under high security has been in place for a year, it may be more efficient for the Secret Service to keep him aboard his own plane, now extra-secured and inspected to the last rivet, and just have the air and sea space all the way to Hawaii and back combed finely.

News to me. I’ve watched AF-1 land many times. Only one plane used.

The decoy generally lands somewhere else, enhancing the decoyness of it all.

I don’t think so. One of the things that AF1 provides is the ability for the President to be in full contact with the rest of the government, in case something critical occurs while he is in the air. And like it or not, if say Iran nukes Tel Aviv next week, Bush will be the one responding to it, not Obama.

I’ve heard this about Marine One (the Presidential helicopter), but not the airplane.

Well, he doesn’t have Presidential powers, so he wouldn’t be able to use whatever secure military communications equipment is presumably aboard AF1.

There is Nightwatch, which becomes “Air Force One” if POTUS is onboard. There’s 4 planes in that particular fleet. Things have to be going very badly for POTUS to fly on Nightwatch though.

No, he’s not. He is a US Senator from Illinois who is the president-elect.

Any airplane is Air Force One if the president is aboard. This is the designation used to identify the flight to air traffic controllers and the like.

However, there is the president’s personal plane, which is also called “Air Force One.” It is the president’s usual form of travel and thus is Air Force One in the first sense. But if it doesn’t have him aboard, it would have a different flight designation.

What I mean is that he is the man that the USA has designated to be the next President, and as such, his life is almost as important to this nation as that of the current President, and should be safeguarded accordingly.

Here is the link showing AF1 and the decoy side by side.

It’s not really a decoy, it’s a back-up plane should there be any mechanical faults on the AF1.

Well ya, it’s a back-up also. But it serves as a decoy too.

ETA: From History channel

“Any plane the president flies in becomes “Air Force One,” and, in fact, there are two VC-25 jets-- the primary Air Force One and a back-up–kept primed and ready. The back-up jet even accompanies Air Force One on every overseas trip, just in case it’s needed.”