3 New Airfields to Speed Haiti Aid

Port re-opens, as new landing strips prepare for aid planes
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2010 2:50 PM CST
Cargo is loaded onto a C-130 Hercules at Hurlburt Airfield, Fla. for transport to Haiti in support of humanitarian operations, Jan. 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Tech. Sgt. James L. Harper Jr., U.S. Air Force)

(Newser) – The flow of relief supplies into Haiti should get a shot in the arm today, as three new airfields open and Port-Au-Prince’s seaport begins accepting vessels once more. Until now, Haiti’s main airport has been congested with round-the-clock deliveries. Douglas Fraser, the head of the US Southern Command, notes that increased deliveries through the new airfields will likely clog Haiti’s roads and cause yet more delays.

More than 1,400 flights are waiting to use the Port-au-Prince airfield’s lone landing strip, Fraser said, and the US has 20 ships in Haitian waters awaiting the port’s opening. US helicopters, meanwhile, have been air-dropping food, water, and supplies into hard-to-reach areas of the city. Two more minor aftershocks hit just before noon today, but they appeared to cause little new damage, the Miami Herald reports.

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