Small airports in Palm Beach County say they're losing business due to Trump's frequent visits

Airports within 10 miles of Mar-a-Lago grounded during president's stay

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - President Donald Trump has been in office for five weekends and four of them have been spent in Palm Beach County.

With every presidential trip, traffic at Palm Beach International Airport has been greatly affected. And Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana nearly shuts down.

This is because by order of the U.S. Secret Service, temporary flight restrictions, or TFRs, are put in place whenever Trump travels to his Mar-a-Lago club. This means every general-aviation aircraft within a 10-mile radius is grounded during the president's entire stay.

The TFRs are crippling to businesses that operate out of the Lantana airport.

Fred Perry, who owns a flight school, said he loses nearly half of his weekend business at  Pompano Airport when Trump comes in town.

"Many students can only train on weekends," Perry said. "And TFRs are usually Friday to Monday."

Palm Beach County Park Airport – known as the  Lantana airport  nearly shuts down when Trump arrives.

Some general aviation pilots have relocated to Boca Raton's Regional Airport. That airport’s business is up 100 percent  but so is the noise level.

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel and Ted Deutch , both D-Fla., met with the Secret Service about the restrictions and financial strain on the airports. 

"It is sad and it’s unfortunate that there is a burden on a small group of people," Frankel said. "We are going to work to try to eliminate that burden but it’s not going to be by the Secret Service changing the rules of the air. The restrictions are going to stay as they are."

Frankel said she will try to ask Congress for reimbursement for losses from Trump's stays.

 

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