Jacmel Airport

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Jacmel Airport

Aérodrome de Jacmel
Jacmel Terminal.jpg
Airport typePublic
OperatorAutorité Aéroportuaire Nationale
ServesJacmel, Haiti
LocationJacmel, Haiti
Elevation AMSL167 ft / 51 m
Coordinates18°14′28″N 072°31′07″W / 18.24111°N 72.51861°W / 18.24111; -72.51861Coordinates: 18°14′28″N 072°31′07″W / 18.24111°N 72.51861°W / 18.24111; -72.51861
MTJA is located in Haiti
Location in Haiti
Direction Length Surface
m ft
01/19 1,006 3,301 Asphalt
Sources: DAAFIF[1]

Aérodrome de Jacmel (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 country.

The airport was temporarily placed under the control of the Canadian Forces in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake.[2] 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 no large aircraft.[3]

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.[4] The maximum weight an aircraft could have and use the facility was 100,000 lbs.[5] The runway was unlit[6] and the airstrip lacked an instrument landing system, radar and other radio navigation aids –used for landings in poor weather.[7][8] As such, it could normally only support good weather (VFR) daylight operations.[8]

The airport also hosted the local UN MINUSTAH base.[9]

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).[10]

Ground transportation[edit]

Most passengers arrive or depart from Jacmel by car via Route 208 located at the south end of the runway.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines operating to and from Jacmel[edit]

Ten closest airports to 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°)
María 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°)
Jérémie Airport JEE MTJE Haiti 112 miles (180 km) W (285°)
Azua Dominica Field MDAD Dominican Republic 118 miles (190 km) E (84°)
Dajabon Airport MDDJ Dominican Republic 107 miles (172 km) NE (31°)


Regular airline service started on 29 January 2005 with a flight from Tortug' Air.[11]

2010 Haiti earthquake aftermath[edit]

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 reconnoitre the area for relief efforts prior to the arrival of the main disaster assistance forces to be deployed at Jacmel.[4] 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.[12] Canadian airfield engineers studied whether improvements to the runway would permit the heavier CC-177 Globemaster to land at Jacmel Airport.[3] Canadian soldiers first arrived at the airport aboard CC-130 flights on Tuesday, 19 January.[13] 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.[5]

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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[5] 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.[5][16] The Port-au-Prince airport resumed commercial flights, after repairs to the terminal structures, on 19 February.[17]

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.[18] 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 received training with the Canadian Forces to upgrade their skills in handling traffic.[19]

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.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Airport information for MTJA at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  2. ^ Taber, Jane. "Ottawa Expedites Haitian Adoptions As Troops Assess Damage In Jacmel", Globe and Mail, Toronto, 20 January 2010
  3. ^ a b CBC News, "Canadian Forces Head To Port Town Of Jacmel", 18 January 2010 (accessed 19 January 2010)
  4. ^ a b Galloway, Gloria. "Canada's big task in Haiti starts on small airstrip", Globe and Mail, Toronto, 19 January 2010. Accessed 19 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b c d Winnipeg Free Press, "Canada Earns Its Wings", Dan Lett, 30 January 2010 (accessed 31 January 2010)
  6. ^ Journal Star, "Group of local aid workers arrives in Haiti", Ryan Ori, 19 January 2010 (accessed 20 January 2010)
  7. ^ World Aero Data, "MTJA" (accessed 24 January 2010)
  8. ^ a b (in French) La Presse (Montreal), "Le Canada Coordonne Les Opérations à l'Aérodrome De Jacmel", Malorie Beauchemin, 20 January 2010 (accessed 21 January 2010)
  9. ^ Lookout (CFB Esquimalt), "On The Front Lines", Capt. Mark Peebles, 1 February 2010, Issue 5, Volume 55
  10. ^ (in French) Le Nouvelliste (Haiti) "Relance du tourisme: Jacmel se positionne", 15 September 2010 (accessed 8 october 2010)
  11. ^ Radio Kiskeya, "Port-au-Prince/Jacmel en 15 minutes par voie aérienne : une réalité depuis le week-end dernier"
  12. ^ Major Scott Frost, (Pilot of flight CFC 3923)
  13. ^ The Gazette (Montreal), "Canada Sending Money, Troops To Assist In Haiti", Juliet O'Neill, 19 January 2010 (accessed 19 January 2010)
  14. ^ (in French) Romandie, "Haïti : le Canada va rouvrir l'aéroport de Jacmel" Archived July 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., AFP, 20 January 2010 (accessed 21 January 2010)
  15. ^ Globe and Mail, "A city struggles to escape from chaos", John Ibbitson, 22 January 2010 (accessed 23 January 2010)
  16. ^ Associated Press "US To Help Haiti Resume Normal Airport Operations", Associated Press, 30 January 2010 (accessed 31 January 2010)
  17. ^ Associated Press. American Airlines To Resume Haiti Flights Friday, Seattle Times, 16 February 2010.
  18. ^ Associate Press. Military To Use More runways For Haiti Aid Effort, Seattle Times, 19 February 2010.
  19. ^ Power, Peter & Leeder, Jessica. "Project Jacmel Blog: The Little Airfield With Big Ambitions", Globe and Mail, Toronto, 4 March 2010. Accessed 6 March 2010.
  20. ^ Globe and Mail, "Departure of Canadian Forces hampers Jacmel's reconstruction", Jessica Leeder, 23 March 2010 (accessed 27 March 2010)

External links[edit]

  • JAK at AirportFact.com