The Department of Airports in Palm Beach County, South Florida, has issued a report warning that flight restrictions coming into effect when new US President Donald Trump visits his beachfront estate, Mar-a-Lago, in the state could potentially damage the region’s aviation industry. It even states that some operations may be forced to close.
Trump has referred to his Palm Beach property as ‘the Winter White House’ on social media. The report argues that his holiday visits there will effectively close Lantana Airport, with others severely affected, from Pompano Beach to Stuart.
Travelers into major airports, such as Palm Beach International, will avoid disruption, but corporate jets and other business aircraft will be subject to a screening by the Transport Security Administration at a ‘gateway airport’, such as Orlando or Fort-Lauderdale-Hollywood, before continuing to their destination.
Businesses that operate sightseeing aircraft or flight training within a 30-mile radius of Palm Beach will be grounded completely, but the operation of emergency aircraft will still be permitted.
In a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it was working with the Secret Service, Palm Beach County and stakeholders to minimize the impact to businesses, but County officials say they have not been told how often Trump plans to visit. An update is expected this week. Many businesses are concerned over a loss in revenues.