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Toussaint Louverture International Airport
Aerial view of PAP 2010-01-16 2.JPG
Toussaint Louverture International Airport on 16 January 2010
Airport type Public International airport
Owner Office National de l´Aviation Civile
Operator United States Air Force (temporary)
Autorité Aeroportuaire Nationale
Serves Port-au-Prince
Location Port-au-Prince
Elevation AMSL 37 m / 122 ft
Coordinates 18°34′48″N 072°17′33″W / 18.58°N 72.2925°W / 18.58; -72.2925Coordinates: 18°34′48″N 072°17′33″W / 18.58°N 72.2925°W / 18.58; -72.2925
Direction Length Surface
ft m
10/28 9,974 3,040 Asphalt
The airport in relation to the city

Toussaint Louverture International Airport (IATA: PAPICAO: MTPP) is an airport located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, serving as main international gateway of the country. As of January 2010 it was temporarily placed under the control of the United States Air Force, due to major international relief efforts following the Haiti earthquake. It is currently one of 2 operational airports near the epicentre of the earthquake, the other being Jacmel Airport, temporarily under the control of the Canadian Forces.



In the 1940s a military and civil airfield, Bowen Field, was established near Baie de Port-au-Prince providing passenger air service by Compagnie Haitienne de Transports Aériens.[citation needed] It served as an airbase for the U.S. military in Haiti in the 1950s and 1960s.

Developed with grant money from the United States Government, the current airport opened in 1965 as Francois Duvalier International Airport, named after then Haitian president Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. Following the resignation of Duvalier's son and successor Jean Claude Duvalier in 1986, the airport was renamed Port-au-Prince International, before being renamed again as Toussaint Louverture International Airport in 2003, in honour of the Haitian revolutionary leader.


The main building of the airport works as the International Terminal. It consists of a two story concrete and glass structure. Lounges and a few retail stores are located on the second floor of the main building. Check-in counters, gates and immigration facilities are on the lower floor. The Guy Malary Terminal (named after former Haitian Justice Minister Guy Malary) is used for domestic flights. There are further buildings used for general aviation and cargo flights. The airport has 3 jet bridges, but most passengers walk onto aircraft from mobile stairs. The ramp area can handle 12 planes.[1]


The airport can be accessed by car (with parking space being located adjacent to the terminal building) or by National Bus Route 1.

Airlines and destinations

Note: Most commercial flights resumed Friday, February 19.[2]

Airlines Destinations
Air Caraïbes Cayenne, Fort-de-France, Paris-Orly, Pointe-à-Pitre, Santo Domingo, St Maarten
Air Canada Montréal-Trudeau
Air France Cayenne, Fort-de-France, Miami, Pointe-à-Pitre
Air Transat Montréal-Trudeau
American Airlines Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New York-JFK
American Eagle San Juan, Santiago de los Caballeros, Santo Domingo
Caribintair Nassau, Santiago de los Caballeros, Jacmel, Jérémie, Les Cayes
Copa Airlines Panama City
Corsairfly Paris-Orly
Delta Air Lines New York-JFK
Insel Air Curaçao, Miami, St Maarten
Pan Am World Airways Dominicana Santo Domingo
Spirit Airlines Fort Lauderdale
Sunwing Airlines Montreal-Trudeau
Tortug' Air Jacmel, Jérémie, Les Cayes, Port-de-Paix

Cargo airlines

2010 Haitian earthquake

People awaiting evacuation at the airport, January 15.
Relief operations crowd the tarmac, January 18.

Due to the close proximity and shallow depth (6 miles) to the hypocenter or focus of the 2010 Haitian earthquake on January 12, Toussaint Louverture International Airport was damaged. While the runway, the taxiways and the apron of the airport remained operational, radio communications were not possible due to the control tower suffering extensive damage.[3] The airport lighting system was also shut down due to power outages. Nevertheless, the airport was able to be accessed with UNICOM procedures after the quake.

In the morning of January 13, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Forward arrived and began running air-traffic control from Port-au-Prince Bay.[3] UN Peacekeeping forces had also moved quickly to secure the airport, thus allowing international rescue and aid forces to start their work.[4] Later in the day, United States Air Force Special Tactics personnel landed at the airport and assumed air traffic control (ATC) duties as well as much of the operation of the airport.[5] Their ATC set-up consisted of a folding table placed near the runway and handheld transceivers, as well as the use of a motorcycle to guide aircraft to parking zones.[6]

As of January 14, dozens of cargo planes were landing and taking off, but regular scheduled commercial air service ceased. Meantime, some inbound travelers were reaching Haiti by flying to neighboring Dominican Republic, primarily Las Américas International Airport in Santo Domingo, and then traveling overland.[7]

On January 15, heavy traffic to the airport forced the Federal Aviation Administration's Air Traffic Control System Command Center to issue a ground stop for all aircraft attempting to leave the U.S. for Haitian airspace due to limited space and lack of fuel at the airport. Problems had been compounded by pilots inbound to the airport canceling instrument flight rules operation and proceeding on visual flight rules.[8] That day the United States was formally granted temporary control of the airport per a memorandum of understanding signed by the Haitian Prime Minister.[9] The airport has apparently been operating without radar[citation needed], although the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson arrived the morning of the 15th and has advanced aircraft tracking capabilities.

By the morning of January 18, less than five days after arriving, a reported 819 aircraft had landed under the direction of the USAF team.[6] That day, 180 flights were handled at the airport according to Lieutenant General Ken Keen, commander of the U.S. joint task force assisting in Haiti.[10]

Late in January, US military had plans established to reopen the airport to civilian flights. Some military flights would be shifted to Jacmel Airport, under control of the Canadian Forces.[11][12]

On February 11, 2010, the biggest aircraft in the World the Antonov An-225 arrives from Miami, Florida making a stop from Tokyo, Japan.

On February 19, 2010, partial commercial operation returned to the airport.[13]

Incidents and accidents

  • March 7, 1980: A Learjet (N211MB) operating on a corporate charter flight on behalf of 'Merchant Bank' crashed in the hills on arrival at airport. One passenger and two crew members died.[14]
  • December 7, 1995: An Air St. Martin Beechcraft 1900D aircraft (F-OHRK) hit a mountain at an altitude of 5,030 feet (1,533 m), 30 kilometres (19 mi) away from airport. Two crew members and 18 passengers (which were illegal immigrants to Guadeloupe) were killed.[15]
  • February 12, 1996: A Haiti Express GAF Nomad aircraft (N224E) crashed shortly after taking off. Two crew members and 8 passengers died.[16]
  • August 31, 2007: A Caribintair Cessna Grand Caravan (HH-CAR) crashed shortly after takeoff 5 kilometres (3 mi) away from the airport. There were no fatal injuries.[17]
  • September 11, 2007: Only eleven days after the previous accident another plane crash of a Caribintair Cessna Grand Caravan (HH-CAW) occurred near the airport, this time upon landing 10 kilometres (6 mi) short of the runway.[18]

See also


  1. ^ Globe and Mail, "A once sleepy airport is now Haiti's overstretched lifeline", Paul Koring, 19 January 2010 (accessed 20 January 2010)
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b Eric Lipton (January 13, 2010). "Devastation, Seen From a Ship". New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Fox 10, WALA TV/Associated Press, Mobile, AL, Jan 14,
  6. ^ a b Phillips, Michael M. (January 19, 2010). "U.S. Team Directs Traffic in Crowded Skies". The Wall Street JOurnal. Retrieved January 19, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Airlines organizing Haiti earthquake aid". CNN. January 14, 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2010. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Haiti gives U.S. control of airport". Reuters. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  10. ^ Kris Alingod (January 20, 2010). "28 Americans Confirmed Dead in Haiti". All Headline News. Retrieved January 20, 2010. 
  11. ^ Washington Post, "US to help Haiti resume normal airport operations", Associated Press, 30 January 2010 (accessed 31 January 2010)
  12. ^ Winnipeg Free Press, "Canada earns its wings", Dan Lett, 30 January 2010 (accessed 31 January 2010)
  13. ^ AFP, "Haitians return to find family as commercial flights restart", M.J. Smith, 20 February 2010 (accessed 23 February 2010)
  14. ^ 1980 accident report at the aviation safety network.
  15. ^ 1995 accident report at the aviation safety network.
  16. ^ 1996 accident report at the aviation safety network.
  17. ^ August 2007 accident report at the aviation safety network.
  18. ^ September 2007 accident report at the aviation safety network.

External links

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