When the President Comes to Town

March 15, 2011

Staff Report

When Air Force 0ne comes to Boston and lands at Logan Airport, it is the result of two to three days of intensive planning and the successful culmination of complex security arrangements that are coordinated down to the last detail.

President Barack Obama’s trip to Boston and his landing and departure from Logan during the first week of March began with several planning meetings that were held with Air Force, Secret Service, White House Advance operatives and the media staff at Logan.

In addition, the State Police, Boston Police, TSA, FAA, Massport operations and communications officials are all part of the complicated scenario which allows for the president’s safety at every step.

Internally, this means everything and anything having to do with the president’s arrival at the airport on that day are repeatedly planned for and discussed as Air Force One is heading into Boston.

This includes weather and wind reports, runway and taxing routes, airfield security sweeps, designated parking for Air Force One and security checks and designated areas for guests and media who have ramp side access at guest and media locations.

During the president’s recent visit, Massport’s Rudy Chiarello was Massport’s pointman for airfield operations.

Logan’s Media Relations Director Phil Orlandella coordinated media access with President Obama’s White House staff.

All incoming and outgoing Logan Airport is held up whenever Air Force One comes to Boston.

Air Force One taxis to an area away from the airport’s commercial arrival areas.

It is at this point that the president’s motorcade collects headed by State and Boston Police.

The president skips down the stairs to the tarmac where he greets officials, makes a few waves with his hand, and then disappears into his limousine and is whisked off to Boston.

And so it went last week at Logan when the president arrived for a one-day stop to attend classes at a public high school in Boston and then a fundraiser.