Reported by: Brianne Randle
Email: [email protected]
Last Update: 12/23 9:50 pm
President Barack Obama and his family have all ready had local death threats against them, so the Secret Service isn't stepping down when it comes to the first family's security in Hawaii.
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a 10-mile no-fly zone over Kailua. Tour flights within a 30-mile radius are allowed, only if all aircraft and passengers are first screened by the TSA .
"This is unprecedented, for everyone: Secret Service, FAA, operators never had had such a restriction on our agency," said Richard Schuman, Makani Kai Helicopters.
The temporary flight restrictions will last almost 2 weeks. Makani Kai Helicopters says past Presidents have only had a 5-mile radius around them. But they've agreed to the screenings, saying it was either check their passengers here or don't fly.
"Like you go to airport now, they're gonna be screened, only take wallet and a camera," said Schuman.
Other companies didn't have the same choice. Island Seaplane Service can't land at the airport for security checks, so they had no option.
"The secret service told me no way that the Seaplane is flying, just that's it," said Pat Magie.
He was banking on the Christmas Holiday to boost business. Now he expects to loose 20-30 thousand dollars over the next 2 weeks.
"We couldn't believe it, shutting down for 2 weeks," said Magie. "This 30-mile bit is crazy."
The restrictions also make it impossible for fight schools to operate as usual.
"There's no flight training that's all there is to it," said P.J. O'Reilley, Mauna Loa Helicopters Flight Training. "It's a mixed blessing, we like that he's an island son, notoriety that it brings to hawaii and we understand the need for security, but for 2 weeks that's tough for any business to withstand."
The FAA says flight restrictions for President Obama's stay will not go into effect until 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon.
I feel for the businesses that have to shut down for nearly 2 weeks so the obummer family can visit Hawaii. If I didn't have so much work to do here in the islands, I'd be taking a 2 week vacation somewhere far away from the dog and pony show.....