Gov. Scott Puts State's Planes Up For Sale

WINTER PARK, Fla. --

Florida Gov. Rick Scott put the state's two planes up for sale on Thursday that were for use by elected officials.

The use of those planes for personal reasons has come under fire in previous administrations.

The planes -- a 2000 Beechcraft King Air 350 and a 2003 Cessna Citation Bravo -- are already listed on Aircraft Shopper's website. They could be sold for around $6 million.

In the past, the planes were used to shuttle the governor, cabinet members, dignitaries and staff around the state.

Scott figures taxpayers will save about $2.5 million each year after the state sells the aircraft. Some wonder if the sale makes financial sense.

"I find it puzzling that someone can try to run a business as big as the state of Florida from Tallahassee or really any other city in Florida given the size of it without private planes," said Bob Showalter with Showalter Flying Service.

Showalter's family has been in the flight business for 65 years. He said he couldn't imagine elected officials being able to connect with and serve people or react to emergencies while relying on commercial flights.

"I think that we'll find that someday before too long they'll have to be back in the airplane business," he said.

Some lawmakers point to documented abuse of the planes by public officials.

"Millions have been wasted by Republican leaders flying around the state on the state planes and so it should be interesting to see what they do without those planes. I think it's a good idea to get rid of them," said Democrat state Rep. Scott Randolph.

The state has investigated the use of the planes by politicians such as former Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican, and former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, a Democrat.

So far, Scott said his intention is to use his own private plane.

WESH 2 News asked the governor's office is Scott would seek to bill the state for fuel, pilot salaries or maintenance. The governor's office said Scott will pay for the use of his private plane out of his own pocket.

Sealed bids for the two state planes will be opened Feb. 9.

Gov. Scott Puts State's Planes Up For Sale

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