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Memorandum on Restriction of Government Aircraft

February 10, 1993

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies and Employees of the Executive Office of the President

Subject: Restricted Use of Government Aircraft

The taxpayers should pay no more than absolutely necessary to transport Government officials. The public should only be asked to fund necessities, not luxuries, for its public servants. I describe in this memorandum the limited circumstances under which senior executive branch officials are authorized to use Government aircraft.

In general, Government aircraft (either military or owned and operated by a particular agency) shall not be used for nongovernmental purposes. Uses other than those that constitute the discharge of an agency's official responsibilities are nongovernmental.

The Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Director of Central Intelligence may use Government aircraft for nongovernmental purposes, but only upon reimbursement at "full coach fare" and with my authorization (or that of my designated representative) on the grounds that a threat exists which could endanger lives or when continuous 24-hour secure communication is required.

When travel is necessary for governmental purposes, Government aircraft shall not be used if commercial airline or aircraft (including charter) service is reasonably available, i.e., able to meet the traveler's departure and/or arrival requirements within a 24-hour period, unless highly unusual circumstances present a clear and present danger, an emergency exists, use of Government aircraft is more cost-effective than commercial air, or other compelling operational considerations make commercial transportation unacceptable. Such authorization must be in accordance with the May 22, 1992, Office of Management and Budget Circular A-126, "Improving the Management and Use of Government Aircraft." (The provisions and definitions of this Circular are to supplement but not replace the provisions in this memorandum.) In addition, Government funds shall not be used to pay for first-class travel, unless no other commercial service is reasonably available, or such travel is necessary for reasons of disability or medical condition.

In order to assist the Administrator of General Services oversight of agency aircraft, all use of Government aircraft by senior executive branch officials shall be documented and such documentation shall be disclosed to the public upon request unless classified. Each agency and the Executive Office of the President shall report semiannually to the General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget data relating to the amount of travel on Government, aircraft by such officials at Government expense and the amount of reimbursements collected for travel for nongovernmental purposes.

In addition, all agencies are directed to report to OMB within 60 days of this memorandum on their continuing need for aircraft configured for passenger use in their inventories. OMB, in turn, shall evaluate the sufficiency and effectiveness of current policies. Such review should include a public comment process.

This memorandum shall apply solely to senior executive branch officials. For purposes of this memorandum, senior executive branch officials are civilian officials appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, as well as civilian employees of the Executive Office of the President.

Thank you for your assistance in implementing these restrictions.


William J. Clinton, Memorandum on Restriction of Government Aircraft Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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