WHO: Tampa International Airport, along with other Florida airports, has been put on alert to possibly process evacuees from Haiti. The Airport has already called two emergency planning meetings today to discuss various procedures of how to process Haitian evacuees who may be Haitian Americans or other, without identification. Evacuees may be healthy or in need of medical attention. And some Haitians may have friends/family in U.S. and need connecting air service or may need assistance and a place to stay.
Groups and agencies involved in today’s planning meetings included, Airport operations, police, maintenance and support staff, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration, Tampa Fire Rescue and State of Florida Emergency Management Coordinator. Other agencies that will join include MacDill Air Force Base Air Mobility Command, FAA Air Traffic Control, TPA Air Carriers and other law enforcement agencies.
WHAT: A massive U.S.-international relief effort is under way to help Haitians stricken by the January 12 earthquake that damaged much of the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince. U.S. military operations have taken over the Port-au-Prince Airport. Using military aircraft, air lifts are in the planning stages to remove evacuees in its “race against time” operation.
WHEN: Tampa International is in the “Stand By” approach waiting for further notification to launch into “operations”. The Airport anticipates only a two hour advance notice of aircraft arrival before being able to implement operating procedures – triage mode or passenger processing mode.
MEDIA: The media will be notified if Tampa International receives details regarding arriving military aircraft air lifts. At this time, the Airport boardroom will be the designated meeting place for arriving media. The boardroom is situated in the Airport’s main terminal, third floor, blue side and behind the Earhart elevators.
No media interviews at this time.