More News

How ILM Prepared For Presidential Visit, Air Force One

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Sep 4, 2020
Air Force One arrived at the Wilmington International Airport on Wednesday for President Donald Trump's visit to the area. (Photo courtesy of ILM)
The arrival of Air Force One and President Donald Trump to the Wilmington International Airport this week is an event airport officials will remember for years to come, said Julie Wilsey, ILM's airport director.

Airport officials had just days to prepare. The president first arrived at ILM on Wednesday morning before heading to the Battleship North Carolina, where he gave a speech that included officially designating Wilmington as the nation's first WWII Heritage City.

The airport was notified late in the day Aug. 28 of the president's planned arrival, said Kenny Smith, ILM's operations supervisor.

Smith was appointed ILM’s liaison and worked to organize the logistics and operations to host Trump and White House staff at the airport.  

"I was honored when ILM appointed me to be the liaison for the airport. I worked very closely with the Secret Service and many other agencies that were assigned to this event to ensure the safety and security of the President of the United States," Smith said in an email.

Smith, for example, worked with the presidential advance agent for Air Force One and coordinated a visit to ILM to make sure ILM's airfield could accommodate a 747 aircraft.

Other agencies involved in the presidential visit included the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service Counter Assault Team, White House staff, as well as N.C. Wildlife, N.C. Highway Patrol, and local EMS, fire and law enforcement agencies. 

ILM also hosted a C-17 aircraft (right), which was used to transport motorcade vehicles, officials said.

Smith worked continuously to provide consistency when working with the secret service team, officials said.

ILM also had its regularly scheduled team on hand and brought in two additional firefighters so the airport could maintain its daily operations and offer any additional assistance as needed, Smith said.

"As an airport, it was an honor to host Air Force One with the president, specifically the 747 model," Wilsey said. "ILM staff and tenants worked very hard to accommodate the special VIP visit and continue airport operations."
Ico insights


Chris coudriet

Share Your Feedback, Perceptions About Workforce Housing And Housing Affordability

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government
Aarp suzanneheadshot 300x300

65-Plus Voters May Tip The Scales In 2020


Have To Choose A Health-Care Plan? Some Ideas On Matching It To Your Needs

Alyce Phillips - Old North State Trust LLC

Trending News

In Downtown Wilmington, First Commercial Tenant Opens At River Place

Cece Nunn - Sep 22, 2020

At Mayfaire, Burney's Sweets & More Opening Soon

Jessica Maurer - Sep 23, 2020

Save Our Hospital Files Suit On NHRMC Deal

Vicky Janowski - Sep 22, 2020

Last Three Recipients Announced For Downtown COVID-19 Grants

Staff Reports - Sep 21, 2020

Rumcow Owners Launch New Restaurant On Grace Street

Jessica Maurer - Sep 23, 2020

In The Current Issue

Spotlighting This Year's MADE Awards

Several of this year’s MADE win­ners will participate in the upcoming virtual WilmingtonBiz Conference & Expo....

Making Room For Outdoor Dining

Places to eat and drink are expanding outdoor spaces to accommodate more customers and help with increased revenue....

Connecting The Business Community Amid The Shutdowns

This year's WilmingtonBiz Conference & Expo is a little different, but still aims to help the area's business community make vital one-on-on...

Book On Business

The 2020 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2020 Leadership Accelerator: Virtual Workshops for Real Leaders
2019 Health Care Heroes
August 26, 2019 Power Breakfast: A Healthy Sale?
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`