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It turns out that Palm Beach International Airport is a "total joke."
At least that's what Donald Trump said in an online rant this week.
"There's a lot of talk about how this country is squandering billions and billions of dollars," Trump said in a YouTube video. "Let me give you a great example. Palm Beach International Airport is a total joke."
Trump must be suffering from a post-candidate form of lack-of-attention deficit disorder. That explains his recent "From the Desk of Donald Trump" online videos about the state of the world.
It's probably therapeutic.
But it must also be tough coming up with statesmanlike pronouncements, as evidenced by a recent video that opined on the clutter on his own desk. (Spoiler alert: He's for it.)
Defender of a cluttered desk
"My desk is a very important part of me, and frankly, a very important part of my success," he said in his desk video. "Everything I do comes right through this desk. If it's not perfectly neat, if there's a lot of action, I think that's OK; I actually think that's a good thing."
Trump's rant about Palm Beach International Airport was one of his post-desk commentaries, just to give you an idea on how it ranks on the gravitas scale.
"They want to build a new runway,
$1 billion or more, because after overruns, with the way they run that place, it's going to cost a lot more " Trump said. "All they have to do, if they needed the runway, which they don't, is extend the existing second runway
"Here's a billion-dollar boondoggle," he went on. "It's a disgrace."
This might be a good point in the column to mention that there isn't any imminent plan to add a runway or expand an existing one at Palm Beach International Airport. There was talk of it years ago, and a study on the various proposals is in the works, but it's all just speculative and contingent on heavier demand in some distant robust economy.
"He's always had a thing for me and the airport," said Palm Beach County Airports Director Bruce Pelly.
Griping about non-existent plans
Trump first tried to get the county to move the airport, because its location put jet flight paths over his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach. After that failed, Trump sued the county over the jet noise.
"He says I am battering him in the Mar-a-Lago Club with noise as if I was standing in front of him with a noise gun," Pelly said.
"What's a noise gun?" I asked.
"I don't know," Pelly said.
Trump said that instead of building a long runway on the south side of the property, the county would be better off expanding an existing cross-wind runway.
But using crossing runways at the same time would just complicate the coordination of landings and takeoffs, Pelly said. And besides, there is no runway expansion project in the works now.
"Even if we wanted to build a new runway, we couldn't do it until the numbers of passengers justified it," Pelly said.
"So I guess it's just your turn to be a symbol of what's wrong with America," I told Pelly.
"The solution for him is to get elected president," Pelly said. "If he were president, then the FAA would ban planes from flying over Mar-a-Lago."
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