NY state racks up $650k bill to cover Cuomo flights: report



As the Cuo flies, New York taxpayers spend a pretty penny.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo cost the state at least $650,000 to fly a plane to upstate events over the last five years, according to a report.

The state-owned, twin-propeller plane, dubbed “King One,” was used for 460 flights totaling 400 hours between 2015 and 2020, a Business Insider analysis revealed.

That’s the same taxpayer-funded aircraft that former aide Lindsey Boylan alleges was the scene of Cuomo’s infamous suggestion to “play strip poker” on a flight from western New York to Albany in October 2017 — a charge that the governor and several aides denied.

Cuomo routinely uses a state-owned helicopter for trips to New York City, Westchester and Long Island, according to the report, which did not tally the chopper expenses.

But the aging prop plane — which Cuomo has unsuccessfully sought to replace since a safety scare aboard it spooked passengers in 2016 — is used for travel throughout the rest of the state and beyond.

Flying to distant towns in the farthest reaches of the sprawling Empire State is a significant time-saver. A trip from Albany to Buffalo that takes about an hour in the air would eat up at least four hours on the New York State Thruway.

But some of the governor’s flights identified in an analysis of state records were as brief as 15 minutes, with no return trip logged.

Fuel, maintenance, and landing fees for a plane like Cuomo’s would come to about $1,616 per hour in operating costs, according to Nel Stubbs of Conklin & de Decker, an aircraft consulting company.

Other expenses — including crew salaries, insurance, and hangar costs — were not included in her estimated tab.

“The report was based on speculation and extrapolation, not facts,” Cuomo spokesman Peter Ajemian told The Post. “Regardless, part of the governor’s job is to be in multiple corners of the state on a given day and flying is often the most efficient way to travel between official events, meetings and emergencies.”


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