LATEST: FAA says 11 violated flight zones during Trump Palm Beach stay


After enjoying clear skies earlier last month, authorities had to deal with 11 violations of restricted air space during President Donald Trump’s recent 11-day holiday stay at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach “Winter White House,” the Federal Aviation Authority confirmed Tuesday.

The agency didn’t break down the violations either by day or type of aircraft.

The Colorado-based North American Aerospace Defense Command separately confirmed that on Sunday afternoon, two F-16 fighter jets from Homestead Air Reserve Base that already were patrolling air space over Palm Beach County were alerted that a small private plane was violating the “temporary flight restriction” zones in southern Martin County 29 miles north of Mar-a-Lago.

NORAD said the jets intercepted the plane at 4:24 p.m. and said the pilot said he was unaware of the restriction. The fighter jets escorted the small plane to the North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport. The FAA will determine if the pilot should be fined.

When the president visits Mar-a-Lago, all air operations, with a few exceptions, are prohibited within the 10-mile inner circle ring centered on Palm Beach International Airport. Certain operations are allowed in the outer ring extending 30 miles from the airport.

At least 27 aviators violated flight-restriction zones during the first three weekends President Donald Trump was at his Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago estate after his inauguration in January 2017, according to the FAA.

Just five aircraft violated the zones during the president’s nearly weeklong Thanksgiving visit, and none during his stay Dec. 8-10, the FAA has said. That was the first time no violations were reported.

Trump arrived Dec. 22. He played some golf and met with West Palm Beach firefighters, Coast Guard members and a small group of local supporters. He took part Sunday night in a black-tie New Year’s Eve bash at Mar-a-Lago and left Monday.



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