Trump’s Weekend Getaways Threaten to Doom Historic Airport
“We never saw this coming,” Eisenhauer said the other day on the high ridge where the airport’s cozy office sits, stuffed with flying memorabilia and old black-and-white photos of airplanes and pilots. “Of all the things ― this is something that could be really, really bad.”
Trump, who campaigned on cutting business regulations and often touts his executive orders that do just that, has nevertheless created a red-tape death tangle for mom and pop airports in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida with his weekend travels to various Trump resorts.
Whenever the president leaves the White House, the Federal Aviation Administration imposes “temporary flight restrictions” that tightly limit nearby air traffic. General-aviation airports ― those serving private planes ― are closed to takeoffs and landings within 10 miles of the president’s location. Those outside that 10-mile ring, but within 30 miles, like Van Sant, can allow aircraft to arrive and depart if they’re equipped with two-way radios and a transponder that constantly broadcasts location and identity. Commercial air traffic at regional airports isn’t affected.
Two general-aviation airports near Trump’s golf club had to close this month when he visited Bedminster. At least 10 others were able to operate with restrictions, which include this warning: “Aircraft may not loiter.”