Lantana air firms to Frankel: help us survive Trump Palm Beach stays

Frankel meets with air firms Monday at Lantana airport . (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Frankel meets with air firms Monday at Lantana airport . (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Frankel Monday at Lantana Airport with "fixed base" manager Jonathan Miller, PBC Commissioner Dave Kerner (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Frankel Monday at Lantana Airport with “fixed base” manager Jonathan Miller, PBC Commissioner Dave Kerner (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Businesses at the Lantana airport had a message for Lois Frankel to take to President Donald Trump: you’re putting us out of business.

At a meeting Monday at the airport, about two dozen people who own or operate businesses there told U.S. Rep. Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, that two straight weekend of stays by the president at his Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago compound have cost them thousands of dollars, and customers worried about continued visits already have fled to other airports.

And a collective groan went up when Palm Beach County Airports Director Bruce Pelly said he’d heard — unconfirmed — what most have suspected for a while; that Trump will take advantage of the long President’s Day weekend and make it a third straight weekend.

The business people told Frankel, and she said so as well, that they understand the need to protect the president while he’s here. Pelly said he and the businesses, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, have suggested tweaks to the temporary flight restrictions which would let planes come and go to the west and southwest, letting them operate while keeping Trump safe. So far, the Secret Service hasn’t budged, saying it wanted to see how the first visit or two went before making any changes.

Frankel asked the businesses, as well as Pelly and Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner — whose district includes the airport — to assemble a package she could take to the Secret Service. She said she’ll also reach out to the White House to ask that it lobby the Secret Service to make accommodations for the airport, listed as the 10th busiest “general aviation” air facility in the nation.

State Rep. Lori Berman, D-Lantana, whose legislative district includes the airport, said she’ll craft a letter to Gov. Rick Scott asking if he also can call on Trump, a longtime friend, to lobby the Secret Service. The Palm Beach Post posed that question to Scott last week but he did not answer it.

Cong. Frankel to meet with Lantana aviation firms about losses from restrictions during Trump visits

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel
Frankel
trump
Trump

tfr02U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, is scheduled to meet Monday, at the Lantana airport, with Palm Beach County airport officials and some of the people whose aviation businesses are suffering because of flight restrictions imposed when  President Donald Trump visits his Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago compound.

Business have reported some $250,000 in losses — with several not yet reporting — just from the president’s first visit last weekend. With Trump set to return again today for a weekend that includes talks with the prime minister of Japan, some firms have said repeated Trump visits could run them out of business.

Airport officials have stressed it is the Secret Service, not Trump, which imposed the restrictions. They all acknowledged the need to protect the president and said they recognize the Secret Service can’t afford to be 95 percent right. But they’ve said publicly, and in correspondence with both the Secret Service and the White House, that they hope the agency will find ways to both protect Trump and avoid harming businesses. Officials  also have called on Trump himself to lobby the Secret Service.

According to a memo from Frankel’s office, she’s set to meet with Palm Beach County Airports Director Bruce Pelly and Jonathan Miller, part-owner of Stellar Aviation, the “fixed base operator” and landlord at the airport, listed as the 10th busiest “general aviation” air facility in the nation.

County Commissioner Dave Kerner, whose district includes the Lantana airport, tweeted Friday afternoon that he’ll also be there.

Also invited: private aircraft owner Kelly Gottlieb; Florida Aero Paint manager Chris Cura; Palm Beach Helicopters owner Dan Crowe; Palm Beach Flight Training owner Marian Smith; Skywords Advertising owner Jorge Gonzalez; a representative of Sarasota Avionics; private aircraft owner Phil Valente; and Palm Beach Aircraft Services owner Dave Johnson, who also chairs the airport’s advisory board and is local representative to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, which represents small plane owners nationwide.

 

 

Frankel’s scheduled to talk to reporters following the meeting.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

Atlantis: We support ban on jets at Lantana Airport

citation-i-1-eThe Federal Aviation Administration has yet to rule on whether retired commercial pilot Errol Forman can land his jet at the Lantana Airport. But an interested party has weighed in. The Atlantis City Council, at its Dec. 14 meeting, voted 5-0 to support the 43-year-old embargo,

The town, which is adjacent to the airport, said in its resolution that many people and businesses relied on the ban when they moved there, and the city “believes that it is in the best interest of the health, safety and welfare of its residents and businesses” to keep the moratorium in place.

The FAA said in December that Forman’s complaint has merit and the ban “may be unjustly discriminatory and not consistent with the county’s federal obligations.” Palm Beach County Airports Director Bruce Pelly then wrote to county commissioners that the restriction still might be enforceable for reasons of “airspace safety and/or efficiency.”

Forman has told The Palm Beach Post it’s the county that’s infringing on his right to fly at an airport that’s paid for with federal money and open to the public.

Lantana, just 7 air miles from Palm Beach International Airport and officially named Palm Beach County Park Airport, is the subject of a 1973 agreement in which the Federal Aviation Administration gave the county authority to ban jets. It’s the only one in Florida that formally forbids jets.

Want to see Air Force One this weekend? You can’t miss it.

Air Force One leaves PBIA in 2012
Air Force One leaves PBIA in 2012
123116 PBDN Meghan McCarthy Melania and President-elect Donald Trump leave the dance floor before midnight at Mar-a-Lago Club Saturday December 31, 2016 in the Town of Palm Beach.
Melania and President-elect Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago New Year’s Eve party (Meghan McCarthy/The Palm Beach Daily News)

This weekend’s visit by President Donald Trump, the first to Palm Beach since he was sworn in, by no means marks the first time Air Force One has been parked at Palm Beach International Airport.

And as always, interested sightseers will want to take a look at America’s most recognized flying machine.

Not to worry. You can’t miss it, says Bruce Pelly, Palm Beach County’s director of airports.

“It’s a 747,” Pelly said Wednesday. “You can pretty well see it from almost anywhere at the airport.”

Pelly said it will be the Secret Service that decides exactly where the plane sits during Trump’s stay, but most likely it will be near the U.S. Customs office, a small building along Southern Boulevard on PBIA’s south side.

Which, Pelly noted, is about where private citizen Trump used to park his no-less-recognized private plane. The one that says “Trump.”

Palm Beach County aviation chief: security at Trump visits will be “tweaked.” Not “tweeted.”

 

Pelly
Pelly

A tweak is not a tweet.

Palm Beach County Airports Director made the slip Tuesday at a workshop presentation on flight restrictions that will be in place when President Donald Trump is at Mar-a-Lago, his “winter White House.”

The new president is notorious for tweeting out comments at all hours.

In his initial remarks. Pelly noted that Trump hasn’t made a visit yet since he was sworn in on Friday and that “things will be tweeted after the first visit.”

That brought snickers from county commissioners, and a few piped up that Pelly probably meant “tweaked.”

Pelly corrected himself, saying, “I shouldn’t have used that term.”

Commissioner Steve Abrams laughed that “now we’re going to get a tweet.”

Trump flight restrictions top Palm Beach County workshop agenda today

Trump (Getty Images)
Trump (Getty Images)

tfr02When President Donald Trump vacations at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, the Lantana airport will be shut down and general aviation at a dozen airports from Martin County to Fort Lauderdale, including Palm Beach International, will be severely hampered, Palm Beach County commissioners will hear today during a workshop.

Those restrictions could force some private flight operations and flying schools out of business, according to the presentation.

Also on today’s agenda:

A youth services “Strengthening the Steps to Success” master plan.

An update on the county’s library system.

Palm Beach County Commission Meeting:

When: 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.  Where: Sixth-floor chambers, Weisman Palm Beach County Governmental Center, 301 N. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

Palm Beach County to talk Air Trump

trump
trump

What to do about that plane? The one that part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump will be using when he visits his Mar-a-Lago club on Palm Beach. No, not the one with his name emblazoned on the tail. The one he’ll start riding in after Jan. 20 that says “United States of America.”

On the agenda for a Jan. 24 Palm Beach County Commission workshop: “Airport presentation on presidential visits.”

Pelly
Pelly

County Airports Director Bruce Pelly told The Palm Beach Post Wednesday only that he was “still working on” his presentation about how the county will handling landings by Air Force One at Palm Beach International Airport, a short ride west of Mar-a-Lago.

Even before the Donald’s stunning upset win on Nov. 8, the county was mulling how to handle his visits should he become president. He visited for Thanksgiving and is there now for the Christmas-New Year holidays. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a temporary flight restriction for the airspace over Mar-a-Lago, to run through Monday night. It allows flights into and out of Palm Beach International Airport to fly over the club, but bans smaller planes without FAA approval. Trump has been spending holidays at Palm Beach for two decades.

FAA: Pilot who wants to land jet at Lantana airport might have a case

citation-i-1-eErrol Forman still can’t land his jet at the Lantana Airport. But the Federal Aviation Administration says his complaint has merit and the 43-year-old embargo “may be unjustly discriminatory and not consistent with the county’s federal obligations.”

Palm Beach County Airports Director Bruce Pelly wrote commissioners Monday that the restriction still might be enforceable “for airspace safety and/or efficiency.”

The FAA Southern Region’s airports division in Atlanta, after looking at the issue for eight months, wrote Dec. 6 to say it will conduct an additional study before making any final ruling on the discrimination complaint by the 76-year-old retired Eastern Airlines pilot.

Lantana is the subject of a 1973 agreement in which the FAA gave the county authority to ban jets. Forman told The Palm Beach Post in late June it’s the county that’s infringing on his right to fly at an airport that’s paid for with federal money and open to the public.