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Mar-a-Lago helipad ready but Marine One not used for Trump’s arrival


The helicopter landing pad has been completed at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, but the president didn’t use it when he came to Palm Beach tonight for his fifth stay since Inauguration Day.

Instead of using taking Marine One from Palm Beach International Airport, Trump traveled by motorcade.

If he had taken Marine One to the club, it would have been the first time the chopper could land on the helipad that was built this month.

The pad passed inspection and the building permit was closed on Monday, said Karl Swierzko, acting building official for the town. The concrete has cured and the pad is operational.

The landing pad is on the western lawn of the 20-acre estate.

The pad enables Trump to travel by helicopter when making the four-mile trip from the airport to his “winter White House.”

Lead architect Rick Gonzalez of REG Architects has described the helipad as a 50-foot-long, 8-inch-thick, steel-reinforced concrete platform. It took contractor Go-Tilt about a week to build, Gonzalez has said.

The president has been landing at the airport, then taking a limo to Mar-a-Lago during weekend visits to the estate. The visits require travel restrictions and detours, and have triggered traffic delays.

The pad will enable Trump to ride in Marine One from the airport to the island without his motorcade tying up traffic. It does not, however, change Secret Service-mandated road closures around Mar-a-Lago, and the Southern Boulevard Bridge will be closed while Marine One is in the air.

The slab for the helipad passed its first town inspection earlier this month. Concrete typically reaches its maximum strength after 28 days but is often usable before then, town building official Bill Bucklew said at the time.

Staff writer Eleanor Roy contributed to this report.



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