Trump ending lawsuit over flights above Florida estate: official
Donald Trump is dropping a lawsuit against Palm Beach County, Florida over flights above his Mar-a-Lago estate, a county official said, after his presidential victory likely ensures some type of federal no-fly zone around the property.
For more than two decades, Trump has waged an intermittent legal battle against Palm Beach County, claiming vibrations from airplanes flying over his exclusive home caused millions of dollars in damage.
But Trump’s status as the next U.S. president means the federal government would probably impose a no-fly zone around Mar-a-Lago when he is there, and lawyers for the real-estate mogul told the county this week they planned to drop his $100 million lawsuit.
“We did hear from one of his lawyers that he would not be pursuing this,” Denise Nieman, the county attorney, said in a phone interview on Tuesday. She said the lawyer did not indicate whether Trump views the matter as moot, given his election victory.
“I’m just glad that it’s over,” she added.
A lawyer for Trump did not respond to a request for comment.
Since Election Day, the Federal Aviation Administration has barred flights from the area surrounding Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, where Trump has been holed up in his apartment with his transition advisers. The no-fly directive is set to expire on the day of his inauguration, Jan. 20.
No-fly zones are routine for both presidents and former presidents when they are away from the White House in Washington, D.C.
Trump said during the campaign that he expected to spend significant time at Mar-a-Lago if he won the presidency.
The dispute with Palm Beach, one of hundreds of court cases involving the famously litigious Trump over the years, has seen Trump file three separate lawsuits against Palm Beach International Airport since 1995. The 17-acre Mar-a-Lago estate, which is a national historic landmark, is a few miles east of the airport.
The latest, brought in 2010, sought $100 million in damages and accused the airport’s director of deliberately diverting air traffic over his property out of personal animus.
A state judge last year dismissed the claims against the airport director, Bruce Pelly, but allowed other portions of the lawsuit to proceed. Pelly did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Andrew Hay)