Violence in Haiti: After three months, the airport closed due to gang attacks reopened

Toussaint Louverture Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is reopening after being closed for nearly three months due to gang violence. The reopening of the main international airport is expected to ease shortages of key facilities as the country’s main seaport remains paralyzed.

Sunrise Airways, a regional airline, is currently the only airline operating flights to and from Port-au-Prince. U.S. airlines are expected to resume service in late May or early June. The first scheduled flight from the airport was a Sunrise Airways flight to Miami.

Before its reopening, Cap-Haïtien Airport on the country’s northern coast was the only operational airport. However, the roads from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haïtien are controlled by gangs, making it unthinkable for many to reach the airport.

US authorities and NGOs have evacuated an entire group of residents from a mountainous neighborhood in Port-au-Prince due to attacks by highly effective gangs in the capital. More than 2,500 people have been killed or injured in Haiti since the attacks began in February, a large increase compared to the same period last year.

Amid the airport reopening, safety considerations remain excessive. Klav-Dja Raphael, supervisor of the airport’s Couronne bar, expressed concern about possible attacks. Despite the challenges facing the shutdown, workers like Raphael want to return to work and reunite with their households.

The reopening of Toussaint Louverture Airport brings hope for improved transportation and access to key providers in Haiti’s capital.