WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A second, working Haiti airfield could be open within a day to handle earthquake relief efforts, U.S. military officials said Tuesday.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Daniel Allyn, the second-in-command of U.S. operations in Haiti, told Pentagon reporters that an airfield in the southern city of Jacmel, about 30 miles southeast of the capital of Port-au-Prince, would be ready soon.
Allyn said the airfield will be able to handle deliveries from C-130 cargo planes and would initially support Canadian humanitarian assistance efforts.
"The first (additional) runway in Haiti proper will go into operation in the vicinity of Jacmel within the next 24 hours," he said.
A second airfield is seen as the key to relieving congestion at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, which handled an average of 13 commercial flights per day before the Jan. 12 earthquake, but now is seeing more than 200 flights per day as desperately needed relief flights jam its single runway.
Pentagon news services said military planners are also hoping to improve logistics at San Isidro in the neighboring Dominican Republic to help affected areas in Haiti.