Donald Trump’s weekend jaunts to Palm Beach are doing more than costing taxpayers monetarily – they are inconveniencing Floridians in some very basic ways.
Take for instance the sonic boom heard two weeks ago in southeast Florida that shook up residents (including myself and my pets who went crazy thinking something had exploded in our back yard) was directly related to Donald Trump’s Palm Beach visit that weekend. Traffic tie ups on roads in Palm Beach County are becoming common but even more problematic is the number of flight delays into commercial airports in the region. Palm Beach International; Airport (PBI) where Trump flies in and out of isn’t a particularly busy airport, but it is busy enough and Friday nights especially during winter tend to be a time with more flights than most others. But then their is nearby Miami International Airport (MIA) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) both of which are classified by the FAA as “major air hubs”, and are both among the 60 busiest airports on the planet.
I’ve monitored traffic in/out of MIA and FLL the last two Trump visits and have seen numerous delays with planes taking off and landing coinciding with Trump’s landing or takeoffs from PBI. Now the delays are generally in the 10-25 minute range but they are an inconvenience and as planes are put in holding patterns as they prepare to land at any of the three commercial airports in the region the fuel burn is enormous. I’ve spoken to people whose flight paths have oddly changed just as they were approaching touchdown at MIA or FLL in the last few weeks on a Friday afternoon/evening. This is almost undoubtedly related to Trump’s constant southeast Florida visits.
With Palm Beach rapidly becoming the epicenter of the alt-right and new right media , Trump’s visits to southeast Florida give him potentially a friendlier media than he finds in Washington D.C., thus we should expect these jaunts south to continue throughout the President’s term. The local Palm Beach-based media is far friendlier to Trump’s ideological agenda, constant personal shots at political opponents and the pseudo-racism he is pushing than the DC press corp.
In fairness to Trump, he has yet to cause an hour-long partial shutdown of a major airport, as Bill Clinton did at LAX in 1993 when he was getting a haircut on the runway. Perhaps that’s a page out of the Clinton book Trump will seek to emulate soon?