Aérodrome de Jacmel
|IATA: JAK – ICAO: MTJA|
|Operator||Autorité Aéroportuaire Nationale|
|Elevation AMSL||167 ft / 51 m|
Jacmel Airport (IATA: JAK, ICAO: MTJA) was the sixth busiest airport in Haiti by passenger volume before the 2010 Haitian earthquake, near the city of Jacmel, on Haiti's south coast. The airport's timezone is GMT –5, and is in World Area Code region #238 (by the U.S. Department of Transportation).
This airport is normally served by scheduled and charter airlines operating in the capital Port-au-Prince, and was opened in 2006 for travel to and from the capital and other destinations across the continent.
The airport was temporarily placed under the control of the Canadian Forces in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. It was one of two operational airports near the epicentre of the earthquake, the other being Toussaint Louverture International Airport, which was placed under the temporary control of the United States Air Force by the Haitian government. In March 2010, the Canadian Forces returned control to Autorité Aéroportuaire Nationale.
The airport was originally built to accommodate smaller commercial flight services, but not large aircraft.
Prior to the January 2010 earthquake there was no air traffic control service at the airstrip, and its ramp area could only accommodate five aircraft at a time. The maximum weight an aircraft could have and use the facility was 100,000 lbs. The runway was unlit and the airstrip lacked an instrument landing system, radar and other radio navigation aids –used for landings in poor weather. As such, it could normally only support good weather (VFR) daylight operations.
On September 9, 2010, a new terminal building was inaugurated by Public Works, Transport and Communications Minister, M. Jacques Gabriel, as well as by the General Manager of the Autorité Aéroportuaire Nationale, M. Lionel Isaac. The runway had been resurfaced as well (asphalt, 1000 meters).
Most passengers arrive or depart from Jacmel by car via Route 208 located at the south end of the runway.
Airlines and destinations
Airlines operating to and from Jacmel
|Name||IATA code||ICAO code||Location||Distance||Direction|
|Toussaint Louverture International Airport||PAP||MTPP||Haiti||28 miles (45 km)||NE (32°)|
|Cabo Rojo Airport||CBJ||MDCR||Dominican Republic||61 miles (98 km)||E (111°)|
|Antoine-Simon Airport||CYA||MTCA||Haiti||83 miles (134 km)||W (271°)|
|Maria Montez International Airport||BRX||MDBH||Dominican Republic||92 miles (148 km)||E (90°)|
|San Juan de la Maguana Airport||SJM||MDSA||Dominican Republic||93 miles (150 km)||NE (64°)|
|San Juan Airport||SJM||MDSJ||Dominican Republic||94 miles (151 km)||NE (64°)|
|Jeremie Airport||JEE||MTJE||Haiti||112 miles (180 km)||W (285°)|
|Azua Dominica Airport||MDAD||Dominican Republic||118 miles (190 km)||E (84°)|
|Dajabon Airport||MDDJ||Dominican Republic||107 miles (172 km)||NE (31°)|
2010 Haiti earthquake aftermath
Subsequent to the 7.0 magnitude 12 January 2010 earthquake, the airport was first used by Canadian Forces CH-146 Griffon helicopters on 14 January, to reconoitre the area for relief efforts prior to the arrival of the main disaster assistance forces to be deployed at Jacmel. Trees at the edge of the approach to the runway meant that C-130 Hercules transports were only able to land at the facility with great difficulty. The first Canadian Forces CC-130 Hercules flight (CFC 3923) into Jacmel Airport landed on 18 January, and flights by Canadian Forces CC-130 Hercules cargo aircraft were commenced thereafter. Canadian airfield engineers studied whether improvements to the runway would permit the heavier CC-177 Globemaster to land at Jacmel Airport. Canadian soldiers first arrived at the airport aboard CC-130 flights on Tuesday, 19 January. The identification of Jacmel as a possible site for use and the decision to use the airport was made by Canadian Major General Yvan Blondin.
8 Air Communications and Control Squadron installed runway lighting on 19 January, enabling aircraft to land at night, with radar control of the airspace provided by the nearby HMCS Halifax. Opening the Jacmel airfield 24 hours-a-day was intended to help relieve congestion at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince. An air traffic control facility was established at the airport, and as of 22 January the airport could accommodate a mix of 160 military and civilian fixed-wing and helicopter flights a day.
Some degradation of the runway was discovered on 29 January 2010, as a result of the heavy use of the airstrip. At the north end of the airstrip, the pavement had starting to pothole. At the same time, plans have been established by the US military to shift military flights from Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince to Jacmel, to allow civilian flights into Toussaint Louverture. It was expected that around 100 flights per day would be shifted from Port-au-Prince to Jacmel. The Port-au-Prince airport resumed commercial flights, after repairs to the terminal structures, on 19 February.
After tree and terrain clearings to allow greater runway overshoot areas, Jacmel Airport started accepting heavy-lift C-17 Globemasters from 20 February to facilitate disaster recovery efforts. By March 2010, flights had tapered off at Jacmel to 20–40 flights daily from an average of 80 per day during the heat of the relief operations, and from an original two to four per week prior to the earthquake. Airport staff were being training with the Canadian Forces to upgrade their skills in handling traffic.
In the wake of the Canadian Forces pullout, the airport could no longer process international flights, as no equipment remained to operate the control tower, nor heavy equipment to process the planes, or security to police supplies at the airport. As such, it has been handling only about a flight a day since the pullout, and has lost its certification for handling international flights.
- Airport information for MTJA at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Taber, Jane. "Ottawa Expedites Haitian Adoptions As Troops Assess Damage In Jacmel", Globe and Mail, Toronto, 20 January 2010
- CBC News, "Canadian Forces Head To Port Town Of Jacmel", 18 January 2010 (accessed 19 January 2010)
- Galloway, Gloria. "Canada's big task in Haiti starts on small airstrip", Globe and Mail, Toronto, 19 January 2010. Accessed 19 January 2010.
- Winnipeg Free Press, "Canada Earns Its Wings", Dan Lett, 30 January 2010 (accessed 31 January 2010)
- Journal Star, "Group of local aid workers arrives in Haiti", Ryan Ori, 19 January 2010 (accessed 20 January 2010)
- World Aero Data, "MTJA" (accessed 24 January 2010)
- (French) La Presse (Montreal), "Le Canada Coordonne Les Opérations à l'Aérodrome De Jacmel", Malorie Beauchemin, 20 January 2010 (accessed 21 January 2010)
- Lookout (CFB Esquimalt), "On The Front Lines", Capt. Mark Peebles, 1 February 2010, Issue 5, Volume 55
- (French) Le Nouvelliste (Haiti) "Relance du tourisme: Jacmel se positionne", 15 September 2010 (accessed 8 october 2010)
- Radio Kiskeya, "Port-au-Prince/Jacmel en 15 minutes par voie aérienne : une réalité depuis le week-end dernier"
- Major Scott Frost, (Pilot of flight CFC 3923)
- The Gazette (Montreal), "Canada Sending Money, Troops To Assist In Haiti", Juliet O'Neill, 19 January 2010 (accessed 19 January 2010)
- (French) Romandie, "Haïti : le Canada va rouvrir l'aéroport de Jacmel", AFP, 20 January 2010 (accessed 21 January 2010)
- Globe and Mail, "A city struggles to escape from chaos", John Ibbitson, 22 January 2010 (accessed 23 January 2010)
- Associated Press "US To Help Haiti Resume Normal Airport Operations", Associated Press, 30 January 2010 (accessed 31 January 2010)
- Associated Press. American Airlines To Resume Haiti Flights Friday, Seattle Times, 16 February 2010.
- Associate Press. Military To Use More runways For Haiti Aid Effort, Seattle Times, 19 February 2010.
- Power, Peter & Leeder, Jessica. "Project Jacmel Blog: The Little Airfield With Big Ambitions", Globe and Mail, Toronto, 4 March 2010. Accessed 6 March 2010.
- Globe and Mail, "Departure of Canadian Forces hampers Jacmel's reconstruction", Jessica Leeder, 23 March 2010 (accessed 27 March 2010)
- JAK at AirportFact.com