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Donald Trump's UK visit: Stansted Airport prepares to welcome him again

Air Force One at Stansted for the start of Donald Trump's four-day working visit in July 2018 (11537018)
Air Force One at Stansted for the start of Donald Trump's four-day working visit in July 2018 (11537018)

The skies over Bishop's Stortford will be busier than usual this weekend in preparation for Donald Trump's state visit.

For the second time in less than 11 months, Stansted Airport will be the gateway for a trip to the UK by the 45th president of the United States.

The controversial Republican will arrive on Monday morning (June 3) – 11 days ahead of his 73rd birthday.

But unlike July last year, when Mr Trump flew into Stansted at the start of a four-day working trip, this time he is coming on a three-day state visit at the invitation of the Queen.

He will arrive on Air Force One – one of two customised, high-spec Boeing VC-25 aircraft, both of which could be in use – at Stansted's north side, home to the airport's private jet centres. He is expected to land at around 9am.

The president's motorcade of armoured vehicles – including two identical limousines, one of them a decoy, codenamed Cadillac One – and a fleet of helicopters will be flown across the Atlantic in advance by United States Air Force cargo planes.

As was the case last summer, Mr Trump will be accompanied by the First Lady, his wife Melania Trump. But unlike 10 months ago, he is expected to bring his four adult children – Donald Jr, Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany – and their spouses and partners, hence the need for the second plane.

The Trumps will then be flown by helicopter – codenamed Marine One – to London for a ceremonial welcome and private lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

This will be followed by afternoon tea with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and, in the evening, a state banquet in the palace's ballroom.

On Tuesday (June 4), Mr Trump will hold talks with Prime Minister Theresa May – one of her final functions before she steps down on Friday (June 7) – at St James's Palace and 10 Downing Street. In the evening, he will host a dinner at the US ambassador's official residence, Winfield House, in Regent's Park.

On his final day, Wednesday (June 5), he will join members of the Royal Family at a ceremony in Portsmouth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The president, the First Lady and aides board Marine One for Regent's Park (11537020)
The president, the First Lady and aides board Marine One for Regent's Park (11537020)

Over the weekend, residents in the Bishop's Stortford area can expect to see part of the presidential helicopter fleet overhead.

It includes Marine One, which, like Air Force One, is not a specific aircraft. Instead, it refers to any US Marine Corps aircraft carrying the president, though it is most likely to be a large Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King or a newer, smaller VH-60N White Hawk.

As a security measure, Marine One often flies in a group of identical craft acting as decoys. It is also escorted by tilt rotor Osprey MV-22 aircraft which carry special forces, secret service agents and support staff.

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The cost of the policing operation for Mr Trump's three-day visit could top £18m – some £4m more than for his four-day stay last year, when almost 10,000 officers were drafted in from forces around the country to police protests against the president's presence.

When the Trumps flew into Stansted on July 12 last year, they were greeted by the then International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox before being flown on Marine One to the US ambassador's mansion.

During his visit, the president met the Queen at Windsor Castle, had talks at Chequers – the Prime Minister's country residence in Buckinghamshire – with Mrs May and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and attended a black-tie dinner with business leaders at Blenheim Palace, the Oxfordshire birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. He also travelled to Turnberry, his Scottish golf resort.

Mr Trump's UK visit was sandwiched between a Nato summit in Brussels and a meeting in Helsinki, Finland, with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

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