The U.S. Department of Transportation took steps this week to facilitate the rapid flow of rescue and relief personnel and supplies to Haiti following the major earthquake there on Tuesday.
“The earthquake in Haiti has caused a terrible humanitarian crisis,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “We want to do all we can to help the Haitian people begin to put their lives back together.”
The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) offer to provide technical assistance for air traffic management and airport evaluations was accepted by the Haitian government and a five member team from the FAA will work with the Haitians and DOD combat controllers to improve the flow of air traffic moving in and out of the airport there.
In addition, the DOT granted two exemptions from current aviation restrictions, expanding the pool of available aircraft by making them easier to charter. The first exemption grants authority to General Services Administration-approved air charter brokers to act as indirect air carriers. This helps streamline the ability of the U.S. government to procure charter air services on short notice.
The department also granted authority to a class of carriers that operate large aircraft in private carriage, allowing them to evacuate persons from and bring personnel and supplies to the disaster area, augmenting the current fleet of aircraft operated by commercial airlines. Without this exemption, such conduct could violate the department’s economic licensing requirement for airlines.
The exemptions are available on the Internet at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/Haiti.htm
and at www.regulations.gov
The first is filed under docket DOT-OST-2010-0011 and the second at docket DOT-OST-2010-0010.