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Jacmel Airport

Jacmel Airport
Aérodrome de Jacmel
Airport type Public
Operator Autorité Aeroportuaire Nationale
Serves Jacmel, Haiti
Location Jacmel, Haiti
Elevation AMSL 167 ft / 51 m
Coordinates 18°14′28″N 072°31′07″W / 18.24111°N 72.51861°W / 18.24111; -72.51861
Website http://www.aanhaiti.com/aan/
Direction Length Surface
m ft
01/19 1,006 3,300 Asphalt

Jacmel Airport (IATA: JAK, ICAO: MTJA) was the sixth busiest airport in Haiti by passenger volume prior to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, located near the city with the same name, Jacmel, on Haiti's south coast. The airport's timezone is GMT –5, and is located 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 Haitian 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 Aeroportuaire Nationale.


The airport was originally built to accommodate smaller commercial flight services, but not large aircraft. There is no formal terminal building at the airport. 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.

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.

Prior to the 12 January 2010 quake, the airport also hosted the local UN MINUSTAH base.

Runway 36 slopes up, Runway 18 down; watch for rising terrain when departing Runway 36; the breeze always blows from the ocean; palm trees are at both ends of the runway; no tower, fuel, or instrument approaches; airport is secure.

Ground transportation

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 (domestic only)
  • Caribintair (Port-au-Prince)
  • Tortug' Air (Port-au-Prince)
Airlines that once served or were planning to serve Jacmel
  • Tropical Airways - ceased opeartions and no routes planned
  • Air D'Ayiti (Miami International Airport) - ceased operating in 2006
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°)
Les Cayes 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. 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.

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General Info
Country Haiti
Time UTC-5
Latitude 18.241083
18° 14' 27.90" N
Longitude -72.518500
072° 31' 06.60" W
Elevation 167 feet
51 meters
Magnetic Variation 009° W (01/06)
Operating Agency PRIVATE

TWR 118.5

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
01/19 3300 x 95 feet
1006 x 29 meters


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