Airport manager gives new details on President Trump's visit - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Airport manager gives new details on President Trump's visit

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WSIL -- President Trump will speak Saturday at the Southern Illinois Airport near Murphysboro.  

Airport Manager Gary Shafer tells News 3 his crew is ready for the thousands of people expected to show up. He says there could be 10,000 or even 20,000.  

"It does stress our resources, and for that reason it's important to recognize the folks in the region that are helping us: law enforcement, fire assistance, EMS and so forth. They're wonderful partners," Shafer said.

The airport closes at 9 p.m. Friday and won't open until 7 in the morning-- meaning no overnight parking or camping.  

Shafer expects parking to fill up quickly. 

There are only 1,200 spots available in lots south of Hangar 6 where the actual rally will take place.  

"It's a big hangar, but it's not going to handle everybody, so the White House has prepared both an inside and an outside venue. There's jumbotrons outside for people who aren't able to get inside the hangar," Shafer said.

Doors to the hangar will open at 12:30 p.m.and Shafer expects a few thousand people to fit inside. But, he still recommends getting in line early to secure a spot in the hangar.  

Secret Service isn't letting anything inside the venue either--including coolers and umbrellas.  

He says there's always the possibility things will change between now and the rally itself, but he's ready.  

"We're feeling pretty good about where we are. This has been a long and hard week. And we've accomplished nothing else except for preparing for this event, but because of the great team that we have here, we've been able to respond to all of their requests from the numerous advance teams in town," said Shafer.

Once the parking lot fills up at the airport people will have to park off-site and take shuttles to the hangar.  

Shafer says people who got tickets to the canceled rally in Cape Girardeau last month are able to use those for the rally.
  
The president's scheduled to speak at 4:30 p.m..
 

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