The Martha’s Vineyard Airport reported a major jam-up of private jet traffic over the weekend, much of it stemming from President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday bash, held Saturday.

Airport manager Geoffrey Freeman said private jets crowded the tarmac at the small airport all weekend, draining fuel supplies and straining staff.

“Traffic was very increased, due to the party,” Mr. Freeman said. “Thankfully it wasn’t the fully-fledged party that it was originally planned as, because it would have put us way beyond our capacity, both for fuel and for parking spacing.”

The large private party at the Obama home in Edgartown sparked a media frenzy last week and prompted wider concerns around public health as Covid-19 cases began to stage a comeback on the Vineyard. By midweek, spokesmen for the Obamas announced that the party would be scaled back due to concerns about the Delta variant and the spread of Covid.

A dis-invitation was emailed to guests, saying the party would only include family and close friends. But spokesmen for the Obama office would not confirm the actual size of the party or the extent to which it would be downsized.

The party continued to stir frenzy on social media all weekend, as guests, including many celebrities, streamed onto the Island.

Mr. Freeman said the airport was running low on fuel after the high volume of jet traffic over the weekend.

Nantucket recently had to shut down parts of its airport operation after running out of jet fuel.

“We have not run out, as of yet, however we are running extremely low right now,” Mr. Freeman said. “Just the amount of fuel sales that were done Friday, Saturday, Sunday, we’re pushing it. Our delivery today has already gone into planes.”

Although overall airport traffic is essentially on a par with 2019 numbers from July, Mr. Freeman said, the weekend and summer have seen a rise in private jet travel.

“There was definitely an increase in jet traffic related to [the Obama birthday] event,” Mr. Freeman said. “But the summer as a whole has been busy.”

He also confirmed that West Tisbury and state police responded to a group of unruly passengers who left a JetBlue flight over the weekend. Police made no arrests, and the investigation is being handled by state police, according to West Tisbury police Lieut. Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd.

“The persons in question were allowed to leave,” Mr. Freeman said.

In a statement emailed to the Gazette Monday, state police spokesman David Procopio said troopers responded to the airport on Thursday at 1:35 p.m. for a report of four unruly passengers who had arrived on a Jet Blue Flight from Boston. The passengers, who had been detained inside the airport by West Tisbury police, were a 22-year-old male from Jacksonville Beach, Fla., and three males from Jupiter, Fla., ages 20, 21, and 22, the statement said.

“Upon interviewing a member of the flight crew and a Jet Blue terminal supervisor, we learned that the four men had been very disruptive to passengers, disrespectful to airline staff, and failed to wear their face masks in the manner required by Jet Blue policy and FAA regulations while on board the flight,” the statement said in part.

No criminal charges were filed, and the passengers were released, the statement said. They were scheduled to depart the Island on Monday, it also said.
Island police were kept busy all weekend too, although no major incidents were reported.

Edgartown police chief Bruce McNamee said there were no incidents related to President Obama’s party Saturday, although he reported an increase in traffic surrounding the event. Fireworks displays off Chappaquiddick and West Chop had no connection to the event, Chief McNamee said.

Police were stationed near the Obama family property in the Katama area for traffic control.

“There was no shortage of traffic over that way, by the party,” Chief McNamee said.

“And no shortage of people on the Island this weekend.”