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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Trump Fired Up Over Aircraft Noise

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CN) - Donald Trump claims in court that aircraft flying over his Palm Beach private club create a "visual, emotional and sentimental intrusion" and are raining corrosive jet-fuel onto the club's "porous Dorian stone."

For the second time in five years, the billionaire developer has filed a lawsuit in Palm Beach County Court to curb air traffic over Mar-a-Lago, a sprawling 1920s mansion that Trump turned into a private club.

Trump claims the noise and emissions from planes around Palm Beach International Airport "threaten [the] unique and historical landmark."

The airport refuses to "fan out" flights, and planes are constantly soaring over Mar-a-Lago, interfering with its "once serene and tranquil ambiance," according to the lawsuit.

Trump has been wrangling with county officials over air traffic for years.

He says in the lawsuit that airport director Bruce Pelly has pressured air traffic controllers to direct almost all planes from one runway to fly over the club.

"The County and Bruce Pelly have therefore concentrated the noise, vibration and pollution effects of aircraft departures, and arrivals, over the great Mar-a-Lago landmark," the lawsuit alleges.

Pelly's actions are "deliberate and malicious, and motivated by personal animosity towards Donald Trump, who had sued Pelly personally in 1995 and who was instrumental in successfully opposing Pelly's efforts to expand the Airport," the lawsuit claims.

In addition to the noise disruption, Trump's club has sustained "emission damages" from planes overhead, the lawsuit claims.

The structure was built in the 1920s with "porous Dorian stone, antique Spanish tiles, and antique Cuban roof tiles, which were not designed to withstand the corrosive effects of aircraft emissions," the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit demands $100 million in damages as well as injunctive relief. It includes counts for trespass, nuisance and inverse condemnation.

The sole defendant is Palm Beach County.

Trump filed a similar case in 2010, attempting to curb air traffic over Mar-a-Lago.

Court records indicate that the 2010 claim was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice.

Mar-a-Lago, which is approximately two miles from the airport, is designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. It's the frequent site of charity events and social gatherings for high rollers in South Florida.

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