The 44-year ban on jets at Lantana’s airport is over. The Federal Aviation Administration wrote Palm Beach County this month to say small jets now can land at the airport, though they’re limited to one of its three runways.
The agency “has concluded that permitting jet aircraft operations” on the one runway “will not affect safety or efficiency at LNA (Lantana) or surrounding airports,” FAA airport compliance specialist Deandra Brooks said in a March 17 letter to the lawyer for 76-year-old retired Eastern Airlines pilot Errol Forman of Hypoluxo.
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 FAA gave the county authority to ban jets. It’s the only one in Florida that formally forbids jets.
Forman had protested in April 2016 to the feds, arguing the rule is archaic and was instituted when small jets were far noisier than they are now.
“It looks like the FAA made a reasonable decision,” Forman said Monday.
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No fewer than 27 aviators violated flight restriction zones during the first three weekends President Donald Trump was at his Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago estate, the Federal Aviation Administration has confirmed.
The breakdown: 10 on Feb. 3-5, three on Feb. 10-12, and 14 on Feb. 17-20, the long Presidents Day weekend.
By edict of the Secret Service, any time the president is in town, a package of flight restrictions is in place.
They ban most operations at the Lantana airport and impose strict limits at other Palm Beach County airports that include requiring small plane pilots be cleared by authorities at other airports before they fly in.The restrictions have effectively shut down the Lantana airport’s estimated 200 daily operations.
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Trump, then president-elect, spent the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays at Mar-a-Lago, and has come three of his first weekends as president; he skipped this past weekend but plans to return this coming weekend.
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The Secret Service said early on it would revisit the restrictions after it’s seen how a few weekends went, but hasn’t acted — or commented — since.
The U.S. Coast Guard has been asked about marine interdictions for violations of its zones, but, unlike the FAA, said that information must go through a Freedom of Information Act request, a process that will take weeks or months.
The 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.
Errol 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.