Four aviation companies on Thursday submitted proposals to the state for aircraft to fly Gov. Ron DeSantis throughout Florida.
The vendors met a Thursday deadline to submit bid proposals to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The deadline was extended for a week after an undisclosed vendor requested more time in the application process.
The state will consider aircraft owned by Embraer Executive Aircraft Inc., Avionics Enterprise LLC, Learjet Inc. and Textron Aviation Inc. Of the four vendors, only representatives from Embraer Executive Aircraft Inc. were present at a meeting Thursday.
The bidding process gives members of the public a glimpse of what the state is considering as it tries to find a plane for DeSantis.
For example, the state said the aircraft will not be operated outside the United States and is expected to be flown about 400 hours a year. Also, the state plans to finance 100 percent of the aircraft’s purchase price.
The state budget, which DeSantis is expected to sign this week or early next week, includes $3.8 million for a plane, pilots and maintenance staff. FDLE is looking for an airplane to fly DeSantis after former Gov. Rick Scott got rid of state aircraft in 2011 to fulfill a campaign promise.
Scott, the wealthiest governor in state history, used his own plane.