Feb 23, 2011
PALM BEACH - Donald Trump
, Palm Beach's most famous almost-presidential candidate, is everywhere these days. And soon he'll be everywhere in extra comfort as he flies the friendly skies in his new Boeing 757
airplane. In an interview this week, Trump confirmed he bought a 757, which he said is about twice the size of his other plane, a Boeing 727. Although Trump wouldn't talk money, word is he bought the 757 for about $100 million from Microsoft's co-founder Paul Allen.
In recent weeks, Trump has been all over television chatting about his possible run for the presidency. But he was uncharacteristically reluctant to dish details about his latest material possession. "I bought a great airplane," Trump said simply. "It's being retrofitted and will be in service in about a month." It's not yet known whether the plane is being tricked-out with the gold-plated features and sumptuous upholstery that adorn Trump's 727.
What is clear is that the extra space might come in handy if Trump decides to run for president - and needs a large aircraft to shuttle him to campaign stops around the country.
"It's a big plane," Trump acknowledged. "We'll see what happens."
Trump, a real estate tycoon and star of his own TV show, The Apprentice, says he'll make a decision in June about whether to seek the Republican presidential nomination. Trump did offer one detail about his new airplane: It's quiet, a gift to his part-time neighbors on the island.
"It's one of the quietest airplanes there is," Trump said. "I did that for the benefit of Palm Beach."
Palm Beach also benefited from a recent decision by the Federal Aviation Administration to postpone plans by Palm Beach International Airport to add a new runway. Earlier this year, the FAA put the kibosh on the plan, saying the airport would need to reach higher levels of air traffic to justify another runway. The decision follows a 2010 lawsuit filed by Trump against PBIA to stop the expansion. For years, Trump has complained about the noise from planes flying over his ritzy Mar-A-Lago club on Palm Beach. Sources say Trump might have had something to do with that FAA decision, but Trump waived off the speculation.
However, Trump did sing the praises of the FAA, which he said acted "unbelievably responsibly" in finding there was no need for the runway now. "I'm extremely impressed with the FAA," Trump said. "They realized this runway won't be needed for 40 years based on traffic."
As for the old 727, that plane has been for sale since 2009, with no takers thus far. The asking price back in 2009 was $8 million. But Trump's airplane broker recently sent an email, saying the owner had purchased a "replacement aircraft" and that "all reasonable offers" would be considered for the 43-year-old plane.
Aviation sources say the plane is old, guzzles gas and is loud, although Trump said he had the plane altered to comply with the highest stage of noise reduction.
Trump said he might still keep the 727, which has gold-plated sinks, two conference tables, a master bedroom and seating for 24 passengers.
Source: Palm Beach Post