Tracking the 2020 US Presidential Campaign Aircraft

Posted on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 by Nick Benson

Originally published on September 11; last updated September 29, 2020.

As we enter the homestretch in this year's US presidential election, both campaigns are getting out and traveling more. Generally speaking the Biden campaign aircraft are easier to keep track of, as some of them haven't been blocked by the commercial flight trackers as Air Force One or the Trump family aircraft are.

Starting today in mid-September, JetTip's smart flight alert subscribers have received notifications of visits from these aircraft, so long as they aren't blocked from our data stream, and appear to be in regular use by the campaign.

This post will be updated regularly, but you may find additional photos on the JetTip Twitter thread covering these flights.

Vincent Games for JetTip.net

N732KA, a 737-500 from Kaiser Air; seen here departing ILG for BKL carrying Biden to the first debate.

Biden Campaign Aircraft

After some reporting in mid-August suggesting the Biden campaign wouldn't be flying, they've since shifted course, and have generally been operating with a 2-3 Gulfstreams and another larger aircraft to carry the press pool.

Of note to the enthusiasts and photographers keeping tabs on these aircraft, only the flagship, N732KA, has any campaign markings or decals, the rest are generic bizjets.

Joe and Jill Biden have been flying out of New Castle (ILG) near their home in Wilmington, DE. Earlier their pool of aircraft was somewhat dynamic; as of September 25th it appears to be fairly stable.

Earlier Harris has been campaigning with different charter aircraft out of her home airport of OAK for every trip, though flight activity suggests N235DX might be sticking around with the campaign.

Several other aircraft have previously been utilized by the Biden campaign (details can be found further down on the day-by-day analysis), though a few worth highlighting are:

  • N334JB, Embraer E190, press aircraft operated by jetBlue

Biden Campaign Flight Activity

Tuesday, September 29

The first debate is being held in Cleveland, OH. Primary airport being utilized by Biden campaign appears to be BKL; the JetTip filterable arrival/departure board there will be freely accessible today.

  • N209RW, a CRJ-200LR, is flying DCA-BKL (was second aircraft to accompany Harris to RDU day before)
  • N451KR, a Gulfstream G-IV, making first appearance in our data, flew ILG-BKL, operated by Worldwide Jet.
  • N732KA, the KaiserAir 737-500, now has decals. Flew ILG-BKL.
  • N509GU, a Key Lime ERJ-145 is also back; flying ILG-BKL today with press.

Monday, September 28

Jill Biden to Wisconsin

  • N2129, Gulfstream G-IV ILN-MSN

Kamala Harris to Raleigh, NC

  • N235DX, Gulfstream G650, flew DCA-RDU with Harris

  • N209RW, CRJ-200LR, flew DCA-RDU; unsure if staff or press

Saturday, September 26

  • Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff to Iowa and Nebraska

Friday, September 25

Joe and Jill Biden, along with Kamala Harris flew to Washington DC to pay tribute to RBG; other than Jill Biden's public event in Maine, not 100% certain on what the other aircraft are up to today.

  • N450WC: ABE-DCA-ABE
  • N2129: ILG-BWI-BGR (Jill Biden to Maine today)
  • N235DX: ILG-DCA-PIT
  • N509GU, a Key Lime Air ERJ135, apparently the new press aircraft, flew ILG-DCA... it's now heading to BHM, which doesn't make sense from a campaign perspective. Any info on this would be appreciated!

Wednesday, September 23

Joe Biden will be campaigning in Charlotte, NC (CLT).

  • jetBlue E190 N334JB filed ILG-CLT at 10:00 AM; returning to ILG at 8:11 P; it's scheduled to return to JFK afterwards - looks like a single trip getting flown by this aircraft.
  • Joe will be aboard N2129, Gulfstream G-IV for today's trip.
  • The old press aircraft, N356BZ, is filed to return to ACY today - wonder if it'll be back tomorrow or if it's leaving the campaign?

Tuesday, September 22

  • jetBlue E190 N334JB arrived at ILG; guessing it will be new press aircraft?
  • Harris to Flint, MI (FNT) on N235DX, a Gulfstream G650 operated by Corporate Air.

Monday, September 21

Joe Biden to Manitowoc, WI (via GRB)

  • N2129, Gulfstream G-IV
  • N356BZ, press Embraer ERJ-145
  • N450WC, Gulfstream G450

Friday, September 18

Joe Biden to Duluth, MN (DLH)

Thursday, September 17

Joe Biden will participate in a CNN Townhall in Scranton in the evening:

  • N356BZ, press ERJ-145 to arrive at AVP at 6:18 PM
  • N450WC to arrive at 8:00 PM
  • N2129 flew ILG-AVP per ADSBx

Harris campaigning in Philadelphia:

  • N747XJ, an XoJet Cessna 750 Citation X, flew Oakland (OAK) to Philadelphia (PNE)

Wednesday, September 16

  • N508XJ, a Bombardier Challenger 300 operated by XOJET, flew ILG (Biden's home airport) to PVD, and was scheduled to continue to OAK (Harris's home airport). Haven't seen video or photo evidence that this is campaign related, but seems a safe guess.
  • N942SS, a Dassault Falcon 900 operated by Bohlke International, is filed to follow N508XJ from ILG to PVD; may or may not be campaign related.
  • N2129, a Gulfstream G-IV operated by B Coleman Aviation, appears to join that ad-hoc fleet, flying ILG-MHT-ILG; Jill Biden was campaigning in Manchester.

Tuesday, September 15

A trio of aircraft flew ILG-TPA.

In California:

  • N989RJ, Bombardier Global 5000, from Solairus; carried Harris to Fresno

In Michigan:

  • N450WC, Gulfstream G450, from New World Aviation; again flew Dr. Jill Biden to Grand Rapids and Battle Creek

September 11:

  • N732KA, Boeing 737-500, from KaiserAir; started flying for campaign on September 11th.
  • N356BZ, Embraer ERJ-135, from Ultimate Jet Charters; started flying for campaign on August 31st.

Previous Flights:

Based on social media posts, it looks like the campaign is utilizing using an ad-hoc fleet of other bizjets.

Nick Benson, JetTip.net

Air Force One departing Minneapolis after a quick visit from POTUS on August 17, 2020.

Trump Campaign Aircraft

The incumbent has the advantage of the US Air Force providing transportation, of course. The President has been traveling aboard both the VC-25A (derived from the civilian 747-200) and the C-32 (based on the 757-200); the C-32 is especially helpful when making quick stops at smaller airfields.

Mandatory disclaimer: any USAF aircraft carrying POTUS is "Air Force One," regardless of type. As such, the C-32 (757-200) is "Air Force One" when the President is aboard.

When POTUS flies, a backup aircraft will travel with them and hold nearby in-flight or land at another airport, which can provide aviation enthusiasts with an additional chance to see one of these unusual aircraft up close. Additionally, a Presidential visit will usually get two or three C-17 loads of support equipment, motorcade vehicles, and aircraft. For everyone's safety, follow instruction and posted guidance from law enforcement and security, though in my experience photography of Air Force One is permitted from public spaces.

Real-Time Tracking of USAF VC25-A and C-32s

Military aircraft, including Air Force One, are blocked from our commercial data feed, but they are trackable in real-time via ADS-B Exchange. The typical Air Force One fleet consists of a pair of VC-25As and seven C-32s.

FAA Public Notices and TFRs

FAA's Public Notices sometimes reveal upcoming plans of POTUS and VPOTUS before the campaign publicly announces them; it's safe to assume a "VIP movement" is referring to Trump or Pence. Once a TFR is posted, a radius of 30 miles indicates POTUS; 3 miles for VPOTUS.

Trump Campaign Flight Activity

Saturday, October 4

  • Trump to La Crosse, WI (LSE) and Green Bay, WI (GRB)

Friday, October 3

  • Trump to Sanford, FL (SFB)

Thursday, October 1

  • FAA VIP notices (POTUS or VPOTUS) at Bedminster, NJ, New York NY.
  • Pence to Des Moines and Carter Lake, IA.

Wednesday, September 30

  • Trump will visit Minneapolis, MN (MSP) and Duluth, MN (DLH). FAA VIP announcment for Hibbing, MN (HIB) as well, but no event or TFR has been announced there.
  • Pence to Atlanta, GA (MGE)

Tuesday, September 29

  • Trump to Cleveland for first debate.
  • Pence to Lancaster, PA (LNS) (Moved from Sept 30)

Monday, September 28

  • Laura Trump to Raleigh, NC.

Saturday, September 26

  • Trump to Middletown, PA (HIA). Aircraft was VC-25A (747-200) 92-9000

Friday, September 25

  • Trump from Miami, FL (MIA) to Atlanta, GA (MGE) to Joint Base Andrews (ADW) on VC-25A (747-200) 82-8000.
  • Trump expected to fly DC (ADW) to Williamsburg (PHF) in the evening.

Thursday, September 24

  • Trump to Charlotte, NC (CLT), Jacksonville, FL (VQQ), and Miami, FL (MIA). VC-25A (747-200) 82-8000.
  • Pence will be visiting Eau Claire, WI and Minneapolis, MN (AF2 will ferry empty between Eau Claire and MSP; VPOTUS will ride a bus). Aircraft is C-32 (757-200) 99-0003.

Wednesday, September 23

  • Donald Trump Jr. to Holden, ME

Tuesday, September 22

  • Trump to Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) aboard 92-9000, VC-25A (747-200).
  • Pence to Manchester, NH (MHT) aboard 98-0001 (C-32); 98-0001 suffered an apparent bird strike on departure and safely returned to MHT; Pence instead returned to JAB aboard C-17 04-4137.

Monday, September 21

  • Trump to Swanton, OH on 82-8000(VC-25A)

Saturday, September 19

  • Trump to Fayetteville, NC on 09-0015 (C-32)

Friday, September 18

  • Trump to Bemidji, MN (BJI) on 09-0016 (C-32)

Thursday, September 17

  • Trump to Mosinee, WI (CWA)
  • Melania Trump to MHT on 98-0002 (C-32)

Sunday, September 13

  • Trump to Henderson, NV (LAS) on 82-8000 (VC-25A)

Saturday, September 12

  • Trump to Minden, NV

Thursday, September 10

  • Trump to Freeland, MI (MBS) on 82-8000
  • N516DG, Falcon 2000; carried Trump Jr. to DLH

Nick Benson

Nick lives in Burnsville, MN with his wife and three children. He grooves on railroad and aviation photography, geography, weather, and LEGO. A freelance web developer, he started JetTip's smart flight alert service in 2017. He can frequently be found atop a step ladder at MSP's Aircraft Viewing Area.