SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Tuesday night KELOLAND News told you how Governor Kristi Noem is defending her use of the state airplane.

Now we are taking a look at flight records for the governor and her predecessor.

KELOLAND News submitted a public records request one week ago Wednesday to get the latest flight records for the state airplane. We received those records Wednesday afternoon.

Don: Why won’t you let anyone look at the records for the state airplane?
Kristi: Oh they have them, it’s all public document, so they’ve had them forever.

KELOLAND News has obtained flight records for Governor Kristi Noem and former Governor Dennis Daugaard. The documents do not include reasons for the trips, only details like locations and dates.

In 2019, Noem flew 59 times; 17 of those trips were out of state.

In 2020, those numbers changed dramatically. According to state documents, Noem only used state planes 28 times in 2020 and just two of those flights were out of state.

“I’ve used the plane probably half as much as the previous governor, nobody has covered that, I use it very little for the exact same events the previous governor did,” Noem said.

In 2015, then governor Dennis Daugaard did take more flights. He boarded the state plane 64 times, 11 of those trips were out of state.

But in In 2018, Daugaard flew 43 times, with 7 out-of-state trips.

Noem is up for re-election and her Democratic challenger Jamie Smith has been critical of Noem’s use of the state airplane.

“Well it’s not just me that’s been critical of that, I think the whole state has been critical of the governor on that,” democratic gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith said.

The government accountability board investigated a complaint that Noem abused her power or violated state laws by using state airplanes to fly to political events. The board recently forwarded the investigation to the attorney general’s office.

“They decided that it has merit, it needs to be investigated more by the attorney general’s office,” Smith said.

Noem says it’s a political witch hunt and denies doing anything wrong.