Today marks the 4th anniversary since the catastrophic earthquake hit the island of Haiti on 12th January 2010. The quake struck 10 miles south of Port-au-Prince and with a magnitude of 7.0 it was the worst that had hit the region in over two centuries. The effect of the quake was devastating- over 3,500,000 people were affected, 220,000 people were estimated to have died and 300,000 injured. Port-au-Prince was in ruins, 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings; including the Presidential Palace and UN headquarters, were completely destroyed or severely damaged.
Air Charter Service was heavily involved in responding to the crisis and it was a global effort to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible. Due to the substantial damage and lack of ground equipment at Port-au-Prince Airport, one of the biggest difficulties faced was that larger aircraft could not land in the airport or be offloaded. Three ACS employees flew out to Santo Domingo, in the neighboring Dominican Republic, to help manage the ground operations and oversee all ACS flights. A system was set up for larger aircraft to fly into Santo Domingo and then, using smaller aircraft, fly emergency response equipment and any persons that were required to Port-au-Prince.
In all, Air Charter Service chartered over 100 passenger and cargo flights into the region as part of the relief effort. These included charters for UK, US and Spanish search and rescue teams, evacuation flights for tourist groups on behalf of travel insurance companies, and also delivering over 5,000 tonnes of emergency equipment and aid.
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