SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Since obtaining nearly five years of state airplane flight logs, KELOLAND News has been going through the records to see where and when South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has been flying.
Since becoming governor, she has flown out-of-state on state airplanes 21 times.
By combing through social media posts, as well as local and national news coverage, KELOLAND News has been able to identify locations and events Noem travelled to on 11 of the 21 out of state flights.
The flights, along with the events/locations are listed here:
On Feb. 1, 2019, Noem flew to Groton, CT, and Flint, MI. While in Groton, she attended the commissioning of the USS South Dakota at Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut.
On Feb. 21, 2019, Noem flew to Manassas, VA. On the 22nd, she was in D.C., attending a Politico-sponsored State Solutions conference.
On April 17, 2019, Noem flew to Valentine, NE, which is south of the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. In the ensuing days Noem traveled around the area of southwest South Dakota, visiting the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations.
On Sept. 27, 2019, Noem flew to San Antonio, TX, where she attended the NRA’s Women’s Leadership Forum, at which she was listed as a special guest.
On Nov. 19, 2019, Noem flew to Boca Raton, FL, for a conference held by the Republican Governors Association.
On Dec. 12, 2019, Noem again flew to Las Vegas, this time for a meeting of the Western Governors Association.
On Dec. 15, 2019, Noem flew to Manassas, VA, and two days later met with then-President Donald Trump to discuss policy regarding regulation.
On July 26, 2021, Noem flew to McAllen, TX, where she visited the nation’s southern border.
KELOLAND News reached out to the Governor’s Office to ask about the specific purpose of each out-of-state flight. A day later, we received the following statement from Noem’s Chief of Staff Mark Miller.
These questions have been asked and answered in the past. The Governor has been transparent about her use of the state airplane since the beginning of her Administration: she has always followed the law and precedent set by previous Governors. She has also readily handed over the state flight logs. These logs show that she has used the plane less on average than previous Governors. The allegations that she used the plane for “campaign rallies” or to “promote her book” are 100% false.Mark Miller
We’ve asked for further details as Noem’s office has never directly discussed the purpose and justification of each flight with KELOLAND News.