Flying on the taxpayers dime: who uses the state helicopters?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution took at look at who is flying in the state helicopters, thanks to Georgia’s open records laws, and found these numbers.

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Two agencies, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS), offer the flights. It can cost up to $450 an hour to use one.

Office of the Governor (DPS) — 56.4 hours*

Department of Economic Development (DNR) — 57.3 hours*

Department of Education (DNR) — 37.9 hours*

Office of the House Speaker (DPS) — 10.2 hours*

Office of the Lieutenant Governor (DPS) — 8.1 hours*

Office of Planning and Budget (DPS) — 4.1 hours

Aviation Authority (DNR) — 3.9 hours

Judicial Qualifications Commission (DPS) — 3.8 hours

Ports Authority (DNR) — 2.4 hours

Department of Public Safety board members (DPS) — 2.3 hours

Forestry Commission (DNR) — 2.2 hours

*Gov. Nathan Deal flew 53.4 hours; Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr flew 0.8 hours; Superintendent Richard Woods flew 37.6 hours (DoE had one 0.3-hour flight with no passengers listed); Speaker David Ralston flew 10.2 hours; and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle flew 8.1 hours.

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