Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman is recommending that the state buy a new, $2.2 million airplane to replace another aging aircraft in its fleet.
Heineman's budget proposal to lawmakers includes a request from the state Department of Aeronautics for a new back-up plane, which serves as transportation for the governor, agency heads and other officials in state government.
The department says the new plane would replace a 1982 Piper Cheyenne aircraft that is no longer manufactured. Agency officials say parts are becoming increasingly difficult to find, keeping the plane grounded for longer stretches of time.
The department estimates that the old plane's engines would have to be replaced every 5 to 7 years, at a projected cost of $500,000. The old plane at that time would be worth an estimated $180,000.