MONTREAL, 16 MARCH 2010 – The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will be involved in the coordination of the reconstruction of the civil aviation infrastructure of Haiti, seriously damaged by the earthquake of 12 January 2010.


The announcement was made following a three-day mission to Haiti by ICAO experts to assess the extent of damage caused by the earthquake to the international airport in Port-au-Prince and to air navigation services facilities.


The mission, carried out from 9 to 11 March, noted the important steps taken by the Haitian civil aviation authorities since the earthquake. These allowed for commercial air services to resume on 19 February, as well as for the lifting of the air traffic contingency plan on 1 March and the assuming of full responsibility for air traffic control on 14 March by Haitian authorities.

 

The mission also identified actions to be taken to bring the civil aviation system in line with international standards.


ICAO officials met with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications, and other Haitian authorities to discuss the use of ICAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme to facilitate and deliver donor assistance for the reconstruction of the aviation system and for strengthening the Office national de l’aviation civile (OFNAC) of Haiti.


“Our goal is to provide timely assistance and guidance in order that the reconstruction and future development of the Haitian civil air transport system conform to ICAO globally recognized standards, as well as national and regional air navigation plans. At the same time, we want to help avoid any duplication of efforts by donor States or organizations,” said Raymond Benjamin, Secretary General of ICAO.


“ICAO has a long history of supporting Haiti and we welcome ICAO’s offer to coordinate the reconstruction and development of civil aviation in Haiti”, said Jean Lemerque Pierre, Director General of the OFNAC.


The scope of the collaboration of ICAO in rehabilitating the air transport system in Haiti will be defined based on the report of the ICAO mission in the weeks to come.


As part of the mission, ICAO officials reviewed assessment reports prepared by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the military of the United States, amongst others.


The mission was led by the Director of the North American, Central American and the Caribbean Office of ICAO in Mexico, Mrs. Loretta Martin, with officials from the regional office and ICAO Headquarters in Montreal. It was coordinated with the United Nations and Haitian government authorities.


Over the years, ICAO has participated in the rehabilitation of air transport facilities and services in many countries in Africa, Central and South America, and Asia, including emergency assistance actions in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia.


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