Small Airports Worry About Business As Trump Visit Brings Flight Restrictions

BEDMINSTER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — President Trump plans to visit New Jersey in August.

Many local businesses said the president’s stay in the Garden State will bring in revenue, but others including airports say it will have a negative impact.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, Somerset Airport in Bedminster was quiet Tuesday because of cloud coverage, but come August 3, it will be frozen by federal law when Mr. Trump comes to town.

“Going to be devastating to a number of small airports and aviation businesses,” Frank Steinberg, President, Mid Atlantic Aviation Coalition said.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a VIP temporary flight restriction or TFR, for 18 days from August 3 through the 20th.

“Don’t they close airports for every president, not just Trump?” one resident asked.

The answer is yes, for New Jersey this means airports like Somerset which are within 10 miles of Trump National cannot operate at all; that means no fuel sales — a major money maker for airports.

“Flight instructors have to be able to fly to make any money, not talking about highly compensated people, these are just regular, blue collar folks trying to make a living,” Steinberg said.

Airports within a 30 mile ring can still operate, but with major restrictions.

The repercussions for violating the TFR are so severe that some pilots at Central Jersey Regional airport won’t risk flying.

“Nobody’s gonna fly then, it’s going to be pretty dead around here because they don’t want to sacrifice losing their license,” Jodi DiPane said.

Fuel supply businesses and airport staffs expect to lose money, but some Bedminster residents said it’s the president’s right to safely visit his golf club.

“Protection is necessary. We got some crazy people in the this world around here,” Don Telesco said.

Other local businesses welcome the entourage.

“We see a big increase in sales, walk through traffic,” Steve Desiderio said.

Still, the small airports are nervous about the long term viability of their business with extended trips like this.

North Jersey medevac units based in Somerset will still be able to operate during the president’s trip.

The balloon festival at Solburgh Hunterdon Airport will still go on even if Trump arrives.

 

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