Port-au-Prince Airport, a key lifeline for the devastated island of Haiti, will reopen on Friday, according to American officials.
The facility has been closed to commercial flights since a massive earthquake destroyed the control tower on January 12th 2010.
However, Brigadier General Darryl Burke, vice commander of Air Forces Southern, confirmed the first American Airlines flights were expected to land on February 19th. They were expected to be followed by arrivals from Air Canada and Air France.
As many as 230,000 people are feared dead following the natural disaster, with the airport subsequently handed over to military and humanitarian flights.
“On February 19th American Airlines will resume operations in the west portion of the terminal,” explained BGen Burke in an interview.
“Structural engineers have checked out the terminal to make sure it’s safe and it is safe to operate out of, and they’re ready to go.”
A section of the terminal has been repaired by American and Haitian teams, with a temporary control tower also in place.
US air traffic controllers have been gradually returning control of international flights to domestic authorities, who are now ready to assume full control.
It is hoped the resumption of commercial flights will boost the stalled Haitian economy.
As many as one million inhabitants were rendered homeless following the quake, with some estimates suggesting it may take three years to clear the rubble alone.