- Associated Press - Sunday, May 24, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Following the Arizona Department of Transportation’s purchase of a new airplane, Gov. Doug Ducey wants to pare down the state’s fleet.

Ducey is exploring the possibility of selling some of the 10 planes owned by state agencies, reports the Arizona Capitol Times (https://bit.ly/1Bk6hae).

He also wants to consolidate the fleet, making the planes available to all agencies, said spokesman Daniel Scarpinato.

The plan would save state money on maintenance and storage costs, said Scarpinato. Consolidation would also eliminate the need for some agencies to occasionally lease planes.

The Department of Public Safety and the Game and Fish Department each own four planes, while ADOT owns two.



Ducey became interested in the subject in January, when he learned about ADOT’s purchase of a second plane for about $6 million through a story by KTVK-TV in Phoenix.

“Right now, you have planes that are sitting and not being utilized while we may be out paying for another vehicle,” Scarpinato said. “We want less planes overall. So . we’re figuring out what’s most cost-effective, given what we have in the fleet right now.”

The ADOT purchase was revealed as the state looked at a deficit of around $680 million for fiscal year 2016 and about $132 million for the current fiscal year.

The Governor’s Office is still reviewing the possibility of selling the new airplane, but that is expected to come at a large financial loss to the state, said Scarpinato.

He said the governor would prefer not have the new plane in the state’s possession, but “if we have it, which at this point there’s nothing we can do about that, we want to figure out, is there a way to get rid of some of these other planes.”

The chief of staff for former Gov. Jan Brewer said her administration was unaware of the ADOT purchase until the KTVK-TV story.

Ducey could have been stuck with yet another plane if Brewer hadn’t halted a planned purchase by DPS a few months before leaving office, said Scott Smith, Brewer’s former chief of staff.

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Information from: Arizona Capitol Times, https://www.arizonacapitoltimes.com

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