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N.C. Department of Transportation plans to replace state planes & helicopter

RALEIGH. NC (NEWS RELEASE) -– As part of ongoing efforts to operate more efficiently under Governor Pat McCrory and Transportation Secretary Tony Tata, the N.C. Department of Transportation plans modifications to its fleet of aircraft to save an estimated $500,000 annually.

The plan includes selling two fixed wing aircraft and one helicopter. Proceeds from the sale of the three aircraft will then be used to purchase newer, more cost-effective aircraft. The capability of the current fleet is more than the state needs for routine travel, while the revised fleet will have significantly lower operational costs without compromising safety or performance. The changes will be completed without any appropriations from the General Assembly and with no cost to our citizens.

“Consistent with the Governor’s focus on efficiency, we are always looking for better ways to use resources and collaborate to improve our operations,” Secretary Tata said. “Selling our aircraft to build a more efficient fleet will ensure we continue the important work of the NCDOT in a more cost-effective way.”

The state’s air fleet is used to survey disaster recovery efforts, facilitate economic development activities and conduct air surveying/photogrammetry for building new roads and bridges. The state fleet also is used to transport leadership for official state business.

Phase I of the fleet transition will consist of selling the Cessna Citation Bravo Jet and Sikorsky helicopter. The proceeds of these aircraft sales will be used to purchase a new turbo prop aircraft that can be used as a passenger and photogrammetry aircraft, as well as a Bell helicopter. The new helicopter will be shared with the State Highway Patrol to help reduce the overall cost to the state.

Phase II of the fleet transition would include the sale of one additional fixed wing aircraft and procurement of one smaller turbo prop aircraft.

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