The president of the United States is persona non grata at Marlboro Airport until he ponies up $676,000 for the damage the airport’s owners claim his armored limo-led convoy caused when his Marine One helicopter touched down on April Fool’s Day 2010.Good luck collecting.
“As of right now, the commander-in-chief is not welcome at this airport unless we have a written agreement before the fact,” said airport manager and owner Robert Stetson.
Stetson and his wife are principle owners of Marlborough Airport Properties Inc., which filed a federal Unfair and Deceptive Trade lawsuit yesterday against the Secret Service.
The suit claims vehicles with the president’s entourage entered the airfield without permission and caused more than $676,000 in damage to the 1,682-foot runway and grass apron.
Obama was landing in Marlboro to visit the Massachusetts Emergency Management bunker in Framingham after record flooding. The suit acknowledges the helicopter itself did no damage. “It’s pending litigation so we won’t talk about it,” said Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan.
Stetson said he is careful to avoid damage, particularly in early spring when only light aircraft are allowed on the airfield.
“It’s for airplanes, not vehicles,” Stetson said. “I don’t put ground vehicles out there when the frost is coming out of the ground. That runway pavement was floating on a giant mud puddle.”
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