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Frankel meets with aviation business owners concerned about Trump's trips to Palm Beach

Lantana airport businesses complain of economic losses from flight restrictions

LANTANA, Fla. – A South Florida congresswoman met Monday with aviation business owners who are concerned about the financial ramifications of President Donald Trump's frequent visits to his "winter White House" in Palm Beach.

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. The TFRs are crippling to businesses that operate out of the Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana.

"In my 25 years in the aviation industry, I've never experienced anything like the past two weeks," Jonathan Miller, chief executive officer of Stellar Aviation Group, said.

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., met with Miller and dozens of other business owners who are affected by the TFRs when Trump visits the area. They claim that they're losing thousands of dollars when Trump comes to town.

"With this going on right now, I'm completely shut down," Jorge Gonzalez, owner of SkyWords Advertising, told Local 10 News. "There's no point for me to work on the planes during the week, and I can't fly on the weekends, so I'm out of a job, basically, that I've been doing for the last 10 years."

Frankel said she'll take their concerns to the White House and the Secret Service.

"We want the president to be safe," Frankel said. "The president is welcome when he comes in, but obviously, his repeated visits (are) having a serious economic impact."

Trump has spent the last two weekends in Palm Beach and could be returning for the extended Presidents Day weekend.

"Presidents (Day) weekend is the busiest general aviation weekend in South Florida, so those losses could be $40,000 for that weekend," Miller said.


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