AOPA Seeking Relief for Florida Airport Impacted by Presidential TFR

Businesses and pilots at Lantana Airport are hopeful that a cutout can reopen the field during President Trump’s frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago.

Presidential TFR Florida
AOPA proposed a cutout for the presidential TFR that would allow normal operations at Lantana Airport. The cutout has not been authorized by the FAA.AOPA

Aviation businesses and pilots at Palm Beach County Park Airport continue to suffer mightily with each visit by President Trump to the “Winter White House,” but that could be about to change.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has asked the Department of Homeland Security to establish security screening capabilities and gateway operations at the popular general aviation airport to ease the economic impact of shutting it down each time the president visits his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

In a letter to DHS Secretary John Kelly, AOPA President Mark Baker urged adopting measures to allow limited operations at the airport during temporary flight restrictions in effect for presidential visits that prohibit GA operations.

Estimates show the operators of Palm Beach County Park Airport (a busy GA field known locally as Lantana Airport) lost $30,000 as a result of a recent three-day weekend visit by Trump to Mar-a-Lago. Businesses at the field, including FBOs and flight schools, say they have lost tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.

Since December, AOPA has made multiple requests to the FAA to create an airspace cutout from the inner core for Lantana Airport, and recently requested a meeting on the matter. During the first three TFRs associated with Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago — located just 5 nm from Lantana Airport — no cutout was authorized.