GA Playing Significant Role in Haiti Relief Efforts

 - January 19, 2010, 11:28 AM

Nearly 100 general aviation aircraft on humanitarian missions have flown from the U.S. to Haitian capital Port-au-Prince in the first five days since the city’s Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport reopened to humanitarian flights two days after last Tuesday’s magnitude-7.0 earthquake, according to flight-tracking provider FlightAware. The Haiti Flight Operations Coordination Center, established by the U.S. military and the FAA at the request of the Haitian government to manage flights into the airport, reported that between Saturday and yesterday it approved 330 requests to land, with nearly half of them coming from civilian aircraft. Meanwhile, the business aviation disaster response organization Care said it will begin transitioning away from using business aircraft for flights into Haiti after it works through the pleas for assistance from areas that can be served only by the business aviation community. The group hopes to begin using larger transport-size aircraft for the Haiti flights and will be relying on corporate aircraft to ferry equipment and personnel domestically to flight staging areas in the U.S.