By Paul Homewood
The Martha’s Vineyard Airport reported a major jam-up of private jet traffic over the weekend, much of it stemming from President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday bash, held Saturday.
Airport manager Geoffrey Freeman said private jets crowded the tarmac at the small airport all weekend, draining fuel supplies and straining staff.
“Traffic was very increased, due to the party,” Mr. Freeman said. “Thankfully it wasn’t the fully-fledged party that it was originally planned as, because it would have put us way beyond our capacity, both for fuel and for parking spacing.”
The large private party at the Obama home in Edgartown sparked a media frenzy last week and prompted wider concerns around public health as Covid-19 cases began to stage a comeback on the Vineyard. By midweek, spokesmen for the Obamas announced that the party would be scaled back due to concerns about the Delta variant and the spread of Covid.
A dis-invitation was emailed to guests, saying the party would only include family and close friends. But spokesmen for the Obama office would not confirm the actual size of the party or the extent to which it would be downsized.
The party continued to stir frenzy on social media all weekend, as guests, including many celebrities, streamed onto the Island.
Mr. Freeman said the airport was running low on fuel after the high volume of jet traffic over the weekend.
Nantucket recently had to shut down parts of its airport operation after running out of jet fuel.
“We have not run out, as of yet, however we are running extremely low right now,” Mr. Freeman said. “Just the amount of fuel sales that were done Friday, Saturday, Sunday, we’re pushing it. Our delivery today has already gone into planes.”
Although overall airport traffic is essentially on a par with 2019 numbers from July, Mr. Freeman said, the weekend and summer have seen a rise in private jet travel.
The guests consisted largely of the usual luvvie crowd, Oprah, Clooney and so on.
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August 10, 2021