A state senator says a study has concluded the state should buy a new airplane.
Sen. Bob Krist of Omaha recommends the legislature approve buying a new Beechcraft King Air C-90 plane to replace its aging Piper Cheyenne.
“We’re going to buy a new airplane, I hope,” Krist tells reporters during a news conference at the Capitol. “Forty-eight others have to vote that way. It would be possible, with an emergency clause, to actually have a new airplane on the ramp out here before we’re out of session.”
The Unicameral rejected Governor Heineman’s proposal last year to purchase a 12-year-old plane from the University of Nebraska Foundation.
Instead, it ordered a study which Krist says concludes buying new would be the most reasonable option. The study cost $3,800.
Krist, a pilot, says the new plane should cost a little more than three million dollars. It would replace the 32-year-old Piper Cheyenne the governor and other state agency heads use now.
Krist says it makes sense for the state to own its own plane, rather than enter a lease contract.
“When you have a short response and you need to get some place and get their fast, owning your airplane is that kind of an advantage. And that’s one of the things in the study that is identified, the accessibility of the aircraft,” according to Krist. “The contract that would have to be written would be an on-call, which drives up the cost of the contract.”