Staff Reports

Vice President Mike Pence, who spent several days in Columbus around the Christmas holiday, returned for a short layover at Columbus Municipal Airport on New Year’s Day.

The Columbus native was in his hometown for about four hours on the first day of the new year, including spending a few minutes at the airport chatting with members of a Columbus Police Department detail entrusted with providing security for him.

It was the former Indiana governor’s fifth trip through Columbus since he and President Donald Trump were sworn into office during their Jan. 20 inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Mike and second lady Karen Pence began their holiday time away from Washington when they arrived in Columbus at the municipal airport mid-afternoon of Dec. 23, a stay that ran through late morning Dec. 26. The former Indiana governor’s mother and two of his three brothers live in Columbus, where Pence was born.

From Columbus, the Pences were off to Colorado, according to published reports.

The Pences’ on-ground motorcade contributed to traffic delays Dec. 26 in the Colorado community of Eagle, north of Aspen, the Aspen Times reported. Flight plans filed with two local airports suggested that the Pence party might stay in Colorado through New Year’s Day, the newspaper said.

The vice president was believed to have arrived in Columbus on Jan. 1 from Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in Colorado, before his flight was airborne again to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland after the four-hour New Year’s Day layover in Columbus.

Prior to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, Pence’s most recent trip into Columbus Municipal Airport aboard Air Force 2 was Oct. 20 to attend his son’s wedding celebration that weekend at Brown County State Park in Nashville.

The Pences’ first trip back to Columbus this year was the morning of May 28 to attend the Indianapolis 500. They flew into Columbus, then used military helicopters to get to the race track and back before spending time from late afternoon to early evening with family members in Columbus.

In addition, Pence made at least one trip to Columbus by car after appearing in Anderson for a Sept. 22 public event.

Each of his Columbus visits have included assistance from Columbus police and fire departments and the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, city and county department heads have said.