Jan. 16, 2019

According to Idaho aviation officials, the use of business aviation by former Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter saved 2,820 hours of driving time, which provided 352 additional days of productivity, according to state officials.

The state’s division of aeronautics recently released the figures in a bulletin marking Otter’s final official trip on the state’s King Air B-200, and noting that his utilization of the state’s business aircraft spanned 12 accident and incident-free years, during which the governor flew 840 hours and logged 204,000.

“Gov. Otter is a pilot himself, and was our most prolific flier while he was in office,” said Division of Aeronautics Administrator Mike Pape. “Idaho has population bases in three corners of the state, and due to the state’s mountainous geography and winding highways, a flight hour in the King Air would take five-and-a-half hours of driving time, so an hour spent flying business aircraft generated four-and-a-half hours of additional productivity for the governor and his staff.

“Flying the King Air allowed the governor to attend a breakfast or lunch meeting in any part of the state and still return to the capital for a half day of work back in his office,” Pape added. “This ultimately saved the taxpayers of Idaho money.”

An example of how the state maximized productivity by using business aircraft was by visiting one small city each month for the “Capital for a Day” program. On those trips, 10 agency directors would fly the state’s King Air to “bring the capital to the people” for a full day of town hall meetings in communities around Idaho.

The state recently took possession of a new 2018 Quest Kodiak 100, built in Sandpoint, ID.

“Unlike the King Air, the Kodiak will easily access all 128 airports in the state, and will be our primary search-and-rescue aircraft,” Pape said. “We’ll also use it to fly wildlife surveys, inspect airports and support maintenance of the 31 state-operated backcountry airports.”