Trump sues for $100M over flights above ritzy Florida club

Author: Associated Press
Published: Updated:

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Donald Trump, no stranger to noisy publicity, is complaining again about the roar of jets in a $100 million lawsuit over air traffic he says is purposely being directed to fly over his ritzy Palm Beach club.

Trump filed the suit against Palm Beach County last week, claiming his history of conflict with Palm Beach International Airport has led officials to spitefully redirect air traffic over his historic Mar-a-Lago estate in south Florida.

“I am saving one of the great houses of this country and one of its greatest landmarks,” he said in an interview Monday, “and it’s being badly damaged by the airplanes.”

Rather than fanning air traffic in multiple directions, Trump says the county’s airports director – who has been named in prior litigation filed by the real estate mogul – has successfully pressured the Federal Aviation Administration to have controllers direct almost all flights due east, directly above Mar-a-Lago, the lawsuit claims. It calls the actions “deliberate and malicious.”

Noise, vibrations and emissions from the planes are causing cracks and other damage to porous stone construction, antique Spanish tiles, roofing, floors and columns, not to mention disrupting “the once serene and tranquil ambience,” the lawsuit says.

Trump says even his own Boeing 757 – emblazoned with his surname in gold – has been forced to take a flight path over Mar-a-Lago, where he has a home.

“It’s doing tremendous damage to the No. 1 landmark in the state of Florida, between the vibration, the soot, the noise, all of these elements,” Trump said.

The County Attorney’s Office said it hadn’t been served with the lawsuit and had no comment.

A 1995 lawsuit by Trump over airport noise ended with the county agreeing to lease Trump the land where he later built Trump International Golf Club. A 2010 lawsuit by Trump over airport noise was dismissed.

The Mediterranean-style Mar-a-Lago, completed in 1927, is a National Historic Landmark. Trump bought it in 1985 and after extensive restoration, opened it 10 years later as a private club. About 450 of the island’s elite are members.

“There’s no place in the world like it – it’s one of the great places in the world,” Trump said. “And I have to protect it. I have to protect it.”

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