Trump in Palm Beach: President’s helicopter arrives. Will he use it?


A huge Air Force transport plane flew over Mar-a-Lago Sunday afternoon before landing at Palm Beach International Airport where it delivered the presidential helicopter.

But the delivery of the helicopter does not mean that President Donald Trump will use it to fly back and forth to Mar-a-Lago, where a new helipad was built on the back lawn of the estate. The helicopter, along with his black armored vehicle, travels with the president in the U.S. and overseas.

The C-5M Super Galaxy Transport plane landed shortly after 2 p.m. and stopped on the tarmac near Atlantic Aviation, on the south side of the airport near Southern Boulevard. The private terminal is the home-away-from home for Air Force One when presidents visit.

Trump is scheduled to arrive at about 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday and leave about 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 26. The Trump family’s Thanksgiving dinner will be at Mar-a-Lago, where it was last year. The visit is the first of his second winter season of golfing and governing in Palm Beach.

MARINE ONE: What you need to know about the aircraft

Locals are anxious to learn how the president will make the two-mile trip between the airport and Mar-a-Lago. The trip from the estate to Trump’s golf club, which is near the airport, also is about two miles. Earlier this year, the president’s motorcade brought traffic to a standstill for hours as an army of local, state and federal law enforcement closed roads near the route along Southern Boulevard.

Because the Secret Service gives little advance notice the president’s travel plans, drivers are left wondering whether to take alternate routes and allow extra time for travel. The uncertainty prompted Palm Tran and Palm Tran Connection — the county’s public transportation system — to issue an advisory last week warning riders of possible substantial delays and detours.

To address some traffic and security concerns, the U.S. Marine Corps built a helipad at Mar-a-Lago — over the strong objection of some neighbors, who worried about noise and down-draft from the large helicopters. But whether the president will use the helipad for this trip is not known — and its use doesn’t prevent road closures.

As the helicopter was unloaded from the back of the plane, a caravan of military personnel followed behind it pushing carts covered with tarps. Shortly after the helicopter was unloaded, the transport plane took off — this time heading north.



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