Haiti Airport Reopened for Commercial Operations

18 February 2010 (Last Updated February 18th, 2010 18:30)

Haiti's international airport has reopened to major commercial airlines for the first time since it was closed after its control tower was destroyed by a massive earthquake on 12 January 2010. According to Reuters, Air Forces Southern vice commander Brigadier General Darryl Burke said t

Haiti's international airport has reopened to major commercial airlines for the first time since it was closed after its control tower was destroyed by a massive earthquake on 12 January 2010.

According to Reuters, Air Forces Southern vice commander Brigadier General Darryl Burke said that American Airlines would begin flying to Port-au-Prince on February 19, with Air Canada and Air France to follow shortly after.

American Airlines will resume flights to Haiti by flying its Boeing 737 and 767 aircraft into Port-au-Prince's Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport.

Following the devastating earthquake in January 2010, the airport was immediately converted to support disaster relief and military flights.

The US military, which assumed air traffic control responsibilities at that time, is now handing responsibility back to Haitian controllers. Normalcy is expected to return slowly to the airport.

Meanwhile Australia has deployed five defence air traffic control officers (ATCO) in Haiti to assist ongoing relief efforts.

On 27 January 2010, the Australian Government approved the deployment of the RAAF ATCOs, who will contribute to relief operations and assist US counterparts.