Important questions concerning traffic and parking near the airport for President Donald Trump’s visit to Missoula on Thursday were still unanswered as late as Wednesday. One of the things Missoula International Airport Deputy Director Brian Ellestad was sure of though, was that people departing or arriving on commercial flights would have some spots reserved.

“We do know that traffic out front is obviously going to be very busy,” Ellestad said. “Parking for our customers will be at a premium. We are working with campaign staff so they know that we are saving spots for all of our outbound customers so that they can get here and actually have a parking spot. The rally campaign folks will have to go to their designated spot, which will be right by the terminal.”

For all of the difficulties in planning for the President’s arrival, Ellestad says the county has helped a lot and things could have been a lot more difficult and a lot more expensive.

“I would just say thank you to Missoula County because they are providing a lot of staff and support for this event,” Ellestad said. “If the event would have been offsite somewhere, the cost would have been even more. Keeping it close is probably saving a lot of headaches for the community versus being somewhere else where every intersection in town would be closed down during the president’s move through town.”

When it comes to planning, Ellestad says the most difficult thing so far has been the need to reboot the planning after the venue from a Neptune Aviation hangar to a Minuteman Aviation hangar late in the planning process.

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