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Restoration of the Boeing 757 VIP of the Argentine presidential fleet

In the next few days, the Tango 03, a Boeing 737-500, one of the aircraft in the Argentine presidential fleet that Alberto Fernndez’s government began to rescue and was no longer used in 2015, will be put into service a few months ago. The Argentine government decided to invest between € 8 million and € 12 million to get the T-01, the Presidential Transport Boeing 757-200, acquired for $ 60 million in 1992 during the mandate of Carlos Saul Menen for $ 60 million. It is the largest aircraft in the Presidential Area Group fleet of the Argentine Republic and was declared obsolete by the Macri administration in January 2016 after having been in service for 24 years and adding 14,000 flight hours, few for this type. By plane. Subsequently, an international tender for the purchase of a new aircraft was announced by the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), a body dependent on the United Nations.

However, the process, which had approximately $ 60 million available, did not go through to complete. Fernndez, the first lady Fabiola Yaez, the general secretary of the presidency, Julio Vitobello, and the media secretary, Juan Pablo Biondi, recently traveled to Mexico on the private plane rented by soccer player Lionel Messi and businessman Gustavo Carmona, who used this device coordinated, bought for $ 15 million in December 2018. The cost of the transfer was $ 160,000 over the four days stated, which sparked criticism from the opposition for viewing the cost as excessive and saying he could have traveled on a regular flight like the rest of the delegation, they argued. The work on the T-01 requires an annual investment of approximately 220,000, including labor costs, replacement parts and the regular payment of the LUMP maintenance program (Low Utilization Maintenance Program) to Boeing.

Although about six years have passed since the last flight of the current Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, it is in good condition. In the coming months, the Boeing 737-700, acquired by the Argentine Air Force (FAA), will arrive in the country to increase the transportation capacity of the Argentine Air Force and to cover flights on the State Air Lines (LADE) network. The FAA has not had the Boeing 707 for strategic long-distance transport and the Fokker F28 for short and medium distances for a long time. Administrative Resolution 997/2020 signed on June 8 by the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers responsible for Santiago Cafiero provided for a special allotment for the purchase of 1 Boeing 737, which was financed by a reduction in loans to the Ministry of Defense.

In the recitals of the administrative decision of the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers it is stated: it is necessary to increase the budget of the General Staff of the Air Force, an organism that is currently deconcentrated under the Ministry of Defense, to acquire a 737 aircraft for the strategic transport of personnel and cargo, the is necessary for emergencies in aviation that result from the current health situation. As with the T-01, Mauricio Macri’s government tried to sell the T-04, but the operation did not materialize. Some experts had pointed out that the latter is an old model made in 1994. In 2014, some changes were made during Cristina Fernndez de Kirchner’s presidency, from the 67 original seats to 50 in economy class and 8 in the presidential area.

In 2015, the T-04’s maintenance was expired and the previous administration was doing it and taking it to fly the T-10. However, it had to be serviced again and is now ready for use. The same didn’t happen with the T-03. With the arrival of the Frente de Todos at Casa Rosada, the decision was reversed and a schedule was put in place to fine-tune several aircraft in the presidential fleet, with the latter being the first preferred unit. Alberto Fernndez came up with the idea of ​​transporting the cabinet inland by plane. The 26-year-old T-04 was not modified again. It is an aircraft that Cristina Fernndez bought from Aerolneas Argentinas and its registration is LV-AYE. Maintenance for ARSA has been in charge since February 11, 2020. The same thing happened with the T-03, a 737-500 that joined the presidential fleet in 2014 and was christened Monsignor Enrique Angeleli.

The aircraft was purchased as a reserve for the T-01. The T-03 took several months to work, and although it was in very good shape, it had not flown for almost six years. Among other things, the interior of the cabin was revised and renovated. According to Macri administration officials, this aircraft had been deprogrammed in 2015 due to the high cost of operating it. This decision was upheld throughout his reign. During the 23-0039-CDI20 purchase process, under the name of the Administrative Agreement between the General Secretariat and the ARSA for Inspection C Check T-04, the government requested full recycling of this aircraft, and the above inspection and various services were carried out outside in the interior of the Cabin, which also included the replacement of seat covers in the presidential area. Attachment of the national shield when stamping in high relief.

In addition, the lacquered surfaces of the presidential and executive tables were thoroughly cleaned, reconditioned, polished and polished, carpets and curtains replaced and the belt pieces completely covered with antique gold satin. The final cost would have been approximately $ 490,000. So far, the T-11 is the only aircraft in the presidential fleet that is in service. a Learjet 60SE that was purchased by the Argentine Air Force in the United States. The rest of the presidential fleet consists of the salvaged T-04 and T-01, whose work has not yet started. The T-10, which is a Learjet: The T-02 and T-03 are 2 Fokker F22s; and there are 3 helicopters that are in perfect working order. The 02 and 03 are Sikorsky S-76B and the 01 is the one Fernndez usually keeps on, a Sikorsky S-70A Black Hawk.

Photo: The Boeing 757 VIP of the Argentine Air Force.

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