Local pilots seek relief from restrictions imposed by President Trump visits

Posted at 7:03 AM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-06 07:15:38-05

The Secret Service is expected to give an update Monday on flight restrictions while President Trump is at the "Winter White House."

Local leaders remain concerned about the impact restrictions have on the Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana.

Each time President Trump is at Mar-a-Lago, flight restrictions force the temporary closure of the airport. The airport estimates a weekend visit by the president is costing them around $30,000 in business.


The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association sent a letter to the Homeland Security Department asking for security screenings at the airport.

This would allow pilots to take off while Trump is in the area. AOPA says such accommodations have been made in the past in Hawaii when President Obama visited during the holidays and most recently in New York after President Trump was elected.

Also on the table is the hit to taxpayers.

So far, Palm Beach County has paid $1.7 million for extra security during Trump's visits to Palm Beach County.

"We've written a letter to the federal government asking for the reimbursement for the overtime for the sheriff and the impacts, but as of today, we haven't heard back,"  Palm Beach County Mayor Paulette Burdick told NBC News.

As a candidate, Mr. Trump said he'd, "rarely leave the White House..." and blasted President Obama for vacations "costing taxpayers millions."

Since Trump's inauguration, he has spent four of the last five weekends at Mar-a-Lago.

Travel is not unusual for the commander in chief. At this point in his first term, President Obama was taking his third weekend getaway, one to Chicago, two to Camp David, according to NBC News.

While the Trump administration won't disclose the exact price tag, a conservative non-partisan budget watchdog estimates it is almost $3 million so far in Secret Service and Air Force One costs alone.

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