President Trump’s first trip of the season to the winter White House in Palm Beach is good news for Boca Raton Airport.
Trump is scheduled to spend the Thanksgiving holiday at his Mar-a-Lago Club. An official presidential air traffic alert is posted for 5:15 p.m. Nov. 20 to 9 p.m. Nov. 26.
That translates to voluntary diverts for aircraft in a 30-mile outer ring, right into Boca Raton Airport.
“We see a substantial increase in traffic during Presidential visits,” airport executive director Clara Bennett told Boca Voice. “At times, traffic doubles from the same time period in previous years.”
Palm Beach International Airport, where Air Force One lands, is affected. “The Secret Service imposes certain security restrictions on private and charter flights,” into PBI, Bennett said. “That requires an interim stop at a pre-approved airport. They can avoid that by flying directly into Boca Raton Airport.”
Boca airport works with its air control tower and two base operators to make sure the increased activity is “safely handled on the ground,” Bennett added.
Aircraft operations within the restricted outer ring are limited to arriving and departing traffic unless authorized, according to the Boca Raton Airport web site. All flight training is prohibited while the alert remains in effect.
By Marci Shatzman