Reports today suggest that a Scottish airport has been told to prepare for the arrival of a US military Boeing 757 one day before Joe Biden is sworn in. As yet, there’s no confirmation who might be onboard, although there is speculation it could be outgoing president Donald Trump. But with Scotland in lockdown and strict controls on international entry, will his arrival be welcomed?
Scottish Airport readying for US 757
Today, Herald Scotland reported that Prestwick Airport, near Glasgow in Scotland, has been told to expect the arrival of a military Boeing 757 aircraft from the US on January 19th. That would make for an arrival on the day before Biden’s inauguration. A source told the publication,
“There is a booking for an American military version of the Boeing 757 on January 19, the day before the inauguration.
“That’s one that’s normally used by the Vice-President but often used by the First Lady. Presidential flights tend to get booked far in advance, because of the work that has to be done around it.”
The incoming 757 could indeed be so-called ‘Air Force Two’, the plane that was often used by Mike Pence for campaigning. It could well be a US VIP is set to arrive on this well known blue and white bird.
However, it could also be Trump’s own Boeing 757, N757AF, lovingly dubbed ‘Trump Force One’. While this plane has been in storage at Stewart Airport in New York for some time, notably with one engine removed, it recently moved to Lake Charles in Louisiana for maintenance.
I’m told that there has been a hunt for a single Rolls-Royce RB211 engine needed for one cycle, which is to say one takeoff and one landing for the 757. https://t.co/9eesUt7dgF
— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) December 3, 2020
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Nicola says no
Trump has a long-standing relationship with Scotland, having built his own golf course north of Aberdeen in 2012, not to mention buying the hotel and golf courses at Turnberry in 2014. During his campaign, he joked to crowds that, if he lost the election, he would leave the country, maybe to move to Scotland.
Trump says he may leave the US if Biden wins. pic.twitter.com/XmbtYpNDoh
— David Mack (@davidmackau) October 17, 2020
However, Scotland today is not what it was when Trump began snapping up golf resorts. Forced into a hard lockdown for the rest of January in a bid to contain the coronavirus, Scotland is not keen to encourage travel in or out.
Speaking at the daily COVID briefing, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon was asked about Trump’s alleged visit. While Sturgeon hasn’t been advised of any Trump travels, she was clear that he would not be welcomed in Scotland right now.
"Coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose."
Nicola Sturgeon suggests Donald Trump may not be allowed into Scotland – amid reports the President could fly to his Turnberry golf resort the day before Joe Biden's inauguration. pic.twitter.com/U5dsDhYHHX
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) January 5, 2021
The First Minister said,
“I’ve no idea what Donald Trump’s travel plans are … I hope and expect that …. the travel plan immediately that he has is to exit the White House. But beyond that I don’t know. But we are not allowing people to come into Scotland without an essential purpose right now, and that would apply to him, just as it applies to anybody else.
“And coming to play golf is not what I would consider to be an essential purpose.”
If the president does go to Scotland rather than attend the inauguration of his successor, he would be the first to do so since Andrew Johnson in 1869.
Do you think Trump will fly to Scotland before Biden’s inauguration?