Speculation is mounting that US President Donald Trump could be planning to snub the inauguration of successor Joe Biden – by flying to Scotland.
President Trump has made no secret of his disdain for his election loss, and continues to dispute the result which saw his Democratic challenger elected to the White House by a record margin of votes.
Now Prestwick Airport has been told to expect the arrival of a US military Boeing 757 aircraft which has been occasionally used by Trump, on January 19 – the day before Mr Biden takes over.
This chimes with reports in the US that Trump will announce a 2024 re-election bid during a flight on one of the President’s official Air Force One planes on inauguration day.
Veteran NBC reporter Ken Dilanian tweeted: “Trump may announce for 2024 on inauguration day. Either way, he won’t attend the inauguration and does not plan to invite Biden to the White House or even call him.”
A Previous Trump trip to Turnberry
Every plane Trump flies in has a special call sign, including his own personal Boeing 757, which has the call sign Tyson 1.
Air traffic controllers receive details of the arrival of a plane with a US special call sign weeks in advance but are not told exactly which plane when the booking is made.
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A source at Prestwick airport, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Sunday Post: “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 outgoing President has links to Prestwick as the owner of the nearby Trump Turnberry golf resort.
Few would be surprised if the former tycoon took to the links to escape coverage of Mr Biden being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. It is estimated that Trump has played golf on at least 142 occasions since he was elected.
Mr Trump is a keen golfer
If Trump does fly to Scotland he could be in breach of coronavirus restrictions. Trump Turnberry is effectively closed until February 5 due to Tier 4 rules, according to the resort’s website.
Soon-to-be private citizen Trump has other ties to Scotland – with his mother, Mary, hailing from the island of Lewis. He also owns another golf course in Aberdeenshire.
The US Department of State – America’s equivalent of the Foreign Office – said it was for the White House to comment. The White House did not respond to the Sunday Post.
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The Scottish Government said the UK Government’s Foreign Office is responsible for planning Presidential visits. Transport Scotland said: “This is an operational matter for the airport itself”.
Prestwick airport and the Foreign Office did not comment.