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President’s NJ Vacation To Impact Airspace Over Bucks County

President Trump about to board Air Force One earlier this year.
Credit: Staff Sgt. Aaron Knowles/U.S. Army

President Donald Trump’s 17-day vacation to his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, will cause some flight restrictions over Bucks County.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) documentation and a spokesperson confirmed to that the flight restriction will impact ports of Lower, Central and Upper Bucks County between Friday and Sunday, August 20. The restrictions stretch as far south in Bucks County as Falls Township and as far southwest as Doylestown Township.

The temporary flight restriction will impact a zone in a 30-mile ring around Trump National Golf Club, which sits around 30 miles from Newtown and 30 miles from New York City. No planes are allowed to operate within 10 miles of the resort and any planes operating within 10 to 30 miles of the restricted must file a flight plan unless they are in support of the Secret Service’s mission to maintain security for their protectees and the president. Airports bordering the temporary flight restriction like Doylestown, Quakertown and busy Trenton-Mercer Airport, which sees commercial and charter flights, are able to operate normally.

Credit: FAA

A Coast Guard helicopter air intercepts a plane during a training mission.
Credit: Military photo

Any pilots that violate the restrictions are bound to be intercepted by U.S. Air Force fighter jets and/or military helicopters, according to government documents and media reports.

Trump has stated previously that his thinks highly of the New Jersey resort and mentioned before that it is easier to go to than his New York City condo at Trump Tower.

It’s not uncommon for presidents to take summer vacations. President Barack Obama often took summer trips to New England and President George W. Bush was well-known for his August retreats to his ranch in Texas.

While the temporary flight restrictions might seem extreme to some, they are standard protocol when the president is vacationing nearby and have been for years. With the Obama family mainly staying in Cape Cod and Hawaii for extended vacations, the region has to get used to Trump’s plans to stay in New Jersey.

For Bar and Dannie Eisenhauer, who run Bird of Paradise out of Van Sant Airport in Tinicum, the temporary flight restrictions means their business that offers biplane and glider rides will be grounded, costing them $4,000 to $5,000 per weekend. Most of their planes do not have transponders and can not file flight plans with the FAA.

“We do have some airplanes with transponders,” Dannie Eisenhauer said. “They can fly out of the restricted area and back but not over the river, where you would want to go.”

To make up for the loss of income, a GoFundMe has been established and the business has been increasing the number of ground-based events at the airport that features a grass runway just minutes from stunning views of the Delaware River.

“They helped a bit,” Eisenhauer said, noting the added events do not fill the hole left by loss of business.

The story has been the similar in New Jersey and in previous years in Cape Cod during Obama’s visits.

Credit: D. Myles Cullen/White House

On Thursday, a reader reported spotting the helicopters that bear the call sign “Marine One” when the president is aboard traveling above the Wrightstown area. The helicopters travel where the president goes even if he doesn’t intend to fly on them.

The security ring around the president has increased over the decades and now includes hundreds of law enforcement, military members and emergency responders.

Secret Service agents surround President Trump’s vehicle.
Credit: Genesis Gomez

Security at Trump’s New Jersey resort will be tight as the president comes into town. Multiple federal agencies will be on the ground supporting the Secret Service and local police, who recently received word they will be reimbursed for efforts.

Reuters reported last month that the Secret Service will be using a small tethered unmanned drone to keep the president safe. The drone will stay between 300 and 400 feet above the resort.

Before heading on vacation, Trump will speak at a rally hosted by his 2020 presidential campaign in Huntington, West Virginia and return to the White House late at night. The president’s schedule for Friday has not been released, but it is suspected that is when he will start his trip Friday.

The Associated Press reported that Trump’s vacation will begin as repairs are underway at the White House.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: Phone: 215-431-1001