FAA: 5 aircraft violated Mar-a-Lago air restrictions during Trump stay


Five aircraft violated air restrictions during President Donald Trump’s four-day Easter weekend stay at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, the Federal Aviation Administration said Monday. It did not immediately provide details.

“The FAA will investigate each incident and will take appropriate enforcement action. The FAA does not release details of open investigations,” the agency said Monday in a statement.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command reports no interdictions this past weekend.

The totals bring to 45 the number of times aircraft have violated restricted airspace since President Donald Trump began his visits to his part-time Palm Beach home.

Nine violations were reported April 6-9, when Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met. And during Trump’s March 18-19 stay, seven pilots crossed into restricted airspace; one, a small Cessna plane that wasn’t in radio contact, was intercepted by two F-15E aircraft and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, NORAD said.

There’s no word yet on whether the president will be down this coming weekend.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Donald Trump in Palm Beach

For the president’s visits — on seven of the 13 weekends he has been president so far — costs by local agencies to protect him already are approaching $3.7 million. Most of that was paid by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, but Sheriff Ric Bradshaw remains confident that the federal government will reimburse some or all of that. Other local officials are skeptical about federal reimbursement.

County leaders have suggested using Palm Beach County “bed tax” money to help pay for security and roadway management during Trump’s visits, or even assessing the owner of Mar-a-Lago a special tax. Neither plan has shown movement.

The county plans later this year to finish a study to get a better understanding of the costs and benefits of Trump’s visits. Palm Beach County tourism and convention groups say they had not compiled numbers on direct economic impact from the reporters, government entourages and protesters who patronize Palm Beach County hotels, restaurants, gas stations and retail outlets every time Trump is in town. But they say there’s also an indirect impact from the world spotlight on the county.

Violations of temporary flight restrictions during Palm Beach weekend visits by President Trump:

Feb. 3-5: 10.

Feb. 10-12: 3.

Feb. 17-20: 14.

March 3-5: 4.

March 17-19: 7.

April 6-9: 9.

April 13-16: 5.

Source: Federal Aviation Administration



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