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Fri, Apr 23, 2010

President, Vice President Travel To NYC On Earth Day In Separate Planes

Leaders Attended Events A Few Miles Apart, Air Traffic Disrupted

There is probably really no way this could have been avoided, but it perhaps sends mixed messages about Earth Day. Both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden traveled to New York City on Thursday ... Earth Day ... to separate events in separate jumbo jets.

Air Force One is a highly-modified 747. Air Force Two, the Vice Presidential transport, is built on a 757 airframe.

The blog NYC Aviation pointed out that, along with the separate airplanes, there are the inevitable traffic problems associated with a Presidential or Vice Presidential visit, as well as the TFR's that could keep airplanes circling while waiting for an arrival slot or diverting to an airport that is not under the high-level VIP restriction.

Neither appearance had a particular Earth-Day theme ... Obama spoke on banking and finance regulations at Cooper Union, an art and engineering college in New York City. Biden was in the city to make an appearance on "The View."

Still, no one would suggest that both leaders should travel in the same aircraft, particularly after what just happened with the Polish delegation in Russia. But the Presidency is about symbolism as well as substance. And with the amount of attention given to the environmental impact of airlines, and how much fossil fuel they burn, we feel it's something that might have been vetted just a little better.

FMI: www.whitehouse.gov

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