HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AP) - Military officials said aid flights from the U.S. to
earthquake-ravaged Haiti were resumed Thursday afternoon, but other
charter flights were still being held back.
Maj. Shannon Horne of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami said
the non-aid charter flights remained on hold because of
overcrowding at the airport in the Haitian capital of
Port-au-Prince. The hold might be lifted later in the day, Horne
Civilian flights from the United States to Haiti were halted at
11:50 a.m. EST Thursday at the request of the Haitian government
because there was no room at Toussaint L'Ouverture International
Airport for more planes and no fuel to spare for departing
aircraft, said a U.S. official who wasn't authorized to speak
publicly and asked not to be named.
At the time, there were 11 flights circling the heavily damaged
airport, but no more ramp room to store planes once they landed,
the official said.
There was also very limited jet fuel available for planes
leaving Haiti, the official said.
The airport's control tower was destroyed in Tuesday's
Special tactics officers from Hurlburt Field Air Force Special
Operations Command in Florida said their teams are in control of
operations at the Haitian airport.
Lt. Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for the command, said airmen
have cleared runways, established 24-hour air traffic control and
have weather systems and airport lighting up and running. He said
dozens of cargo planes were taking off and landing Thursday, but
damage to ramps was slowing efforts to remove cargo from the
The Air Force is working to bring in fork lifts and other heavy
equipment to help move cargo.
Associated Press Writers Lisa Orkin in Miami and Melissa Nelson
in Pensacola, Fla., contributed to this report.