Springfield Airport Officials, Law Enforcement Preparing for Trump’s Arrival
This story has been updated to reflect an updated time for the president's arrival and subsequent speech.
An airport official says President Donald Trump’s visit to Springfield Wednesday won’t be much different than normal operations.
Kent Boyd, spokesperson for the Springfield-Branson National Airport, says airline customers that day will not experience significant delays. He says passengers will only see brief delays when Air Force One lands and takes off.
“Other than that, that’s really it. There’ll be no impact on the airline terminal and from the public perspective it’ll pretty much be routine as normal,” Boyd said.
Boyd said the airport is familiar with handling high profile visitors to Springfield. In 2013, former first lady Michelle Obama made an appearance to promote her Lets Move campaign. During last year’s presidential campaign, former president Bill Clinton stopped in Springfield to campaign on his wife’s behalf.
“It’s a known quantity,” Boyd said. “We know what’s going to happen, we know what to expect, we know it’s one of those things that kind of happens in a flash and then it’s over with. There is a little bit of stress of course since you’re dealing with a very big VIP.”
Boyd notes all presidential movement will be on a remote, non-public part of the airport and that business at the airline terminal will not be affected.
He said, “Since the airport does not have an area designed for plane watching, we ask that folks not come out to the airport to see the president's plane. Most parking lots at the airport are meant for the private businesses that operate here."
Local law enforcement are also preparing for President Trump’s arrival. That was acknowledged in a tweet by Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams Monday.
“The Springfield Police Department, along with several other agencies, have been working hard to plan and prepare for this event,” Williams said. “While it is quite the undertaking, we are confident in our abilities to maintain a safe environment for our citizens and visitors.”
In the message, Williams noted that SPD is staffed with officers who are qualified and well trained to work events such as the president’s visit. He also said that SPD is also coordinating with the Springfield Fire Department, and Greene County Sherriff’s office, among others.
Lisa Cox, SPD public affairs officer, declined to release any additional details when contacted by KSMU.
Demonstrations are expected Wednesday, with one called “The People’s Protest” setting up near the company where Trump will be speaking. As of Monday afternoon, 1,600 people had expressed interest in attending.
“We expect any and all demonstrators to let their voices be heard in a civil and peaceful manner,” Williams said on Twitter. “Let’s show the rest of America why we’re proud to call Springfield home.”
Williams ended his message by encouraging anyone who sees suspicious activity to report it.
Trump’s visit to Springfield comes a day after his is scheduled to visit flood-stricken Texas, and a week after he held a campaign-style rally in Phoenix
The president is expected to arrive at Springfield-Branson National Airport around 1 p.m. Wednesday. He will then travel to the Loren Cook Company located at 2707 N Barnes Ave. There, the president is expected to talk about tax reform in a private setting. The event is not open to the general public.