Obama trip cost aviators $200k - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Obama trip cost aviators $200k

Pat Magie Pat Magie
President Obama President Obama

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - High security kept them out of the skies and cost them tens of thousands. Now a group of Oahu aviators has a request for President Obama, the next time he visits Hawaii.

The president's family trip for two weeks in December was thrilling for many in the islands. But flight schools and tour operations were largely grounded.

They weren't allowed to fly too close to the Kailua neighborhood where they were staying. In fact, no one could take off unless the TSA inspected the aircraft and all passengers. On Monday, they estimated their losses at over $200,000

They're not asking for any money back, but they've formed an informal group called the "Oahu Aviation Initiative."

They're hoping for some type of compromise, either reducing flight restrictions or getting reimbursed the next time Obama comes here.

"We know we've got to live with it somewhat and sacrifice some, but if it happens next year with the international summit, plus if Obama came back again for Christmas, we could be shutdown for a month," Island Seaplane Service's Pat Magie said.

The group of about 20 aviation companies say they were not told of the restrictions until just a few days before Obama arrived. Most of them had no option but to close down for those two weeks.

The group says they may be forced to file a lawsuit if the federal government doesn't compromise with them.

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