Port-au-Prince (or Potoprens in Creole) is Haiti's principal airport and international gateway. The airport is named after the leader of the slave revolt, from which the nation was born and can be found in Port-au-Prince's north eastern suburbs. Beware, aircraft spotting and photography are not generally understood as a hobby in Haiti. Moreover, the security situation in the country is still unstable and extreme poverty easily makes tourists a target. Be careful when visiting the country, inform about the security situation and plan your trip well beforehand. The situation in this airfield guide is likely to change in the near future due to reconstruction works at the airfield after the 2010 earthquake. The airport is home to some Haitian domestic airlines and the United Nations and is also visited by some charters and (relief) support flights.
The airport has a single 10/28 runway, with all facilities located south of the runway; it has no taxiway which makes backtracking the name of the game. From west to east facilities include the international terminal, the cargo terminal, the domestic terminal and the United Nations logbase. The entire airport is surrounded by a pretty impressive wall, which is quite a nuisance for those who want to practice their hobby. A few spots can be found where you can either deal with the wall or find the hole in the fence.
You will probably arrive by plane to Toussaint Louverture airport when visiting Haiti. In the unlikely event you arrive by boat, from the port, follow the long Boulevard Jean Jacques Dessalines to the north. It will pass the airport's western threshold after a few kilometers.
Around the Airport
1Approach 10 - south side
From the terminal area, turn right at the intersection, pass the roundabout with the famous Globe Unity Sculpture. Continue on the Boulevard des Industries. Just past the gate of an industrial estate on your left you will find some shade from the wall of the estate. A few stones provide a pretty comfortable seat where you can lean against the wall while waiting for air traffic. When runway 10 is in use, aircraft appear fairly late so stay awake and have your camera ready. Strolling further down the road will bring you too close to the centreline to make nice shots. Even when runway 28 is in use, fairly good shots are possible from this spot during most of the day.
2Runway 10 - south side
Closer to the terminal spot 2 can be found. When you go right when leaving the terminal, after the last building on your right you will find the sole spot around the airfield where you can have a look on the runway from outside. Climbing a little wall will even enhance your view, although you will not have much room to frame a picture due to obstructions on the airfield. Photography is good from here for most of the day.
3Runway 10/28 - south side
Along the Avenue Toussaint Louverture which runs south along the airport perimeter, a gas station can be found just west of the domestic terminal. The restaurant of the gas station provides a great shelter against the sun and the buzz of the street. From here you can easily observe the traffic whilst sipping your cold drink. For pictures, you can climb one of the boulders in front of the gas station which will provide a look over the fence. For photography, time to react is short, but for the number crunchers this place is ok.
4Domestic apron - south side
A bit further east, the domestic terminal can be found. The terminal is named Aerogare Guy Malary and is clearly signposted. Although security is tight here, you will be able to get a glimpse of the aircraft parked on the apron. Just look for your opportunity in the unfinished structure to the right of the terminal and do not hesitate to climb it. That way you can take pictures over the fence and even over some containers parked in your way. Other spots can be found between the containers parked on your side of the fence. A bit of inventiveness and guts are required here!
5Approach 28 - south side
As the runway in use appears to change during a day more than once, you may need spot 5 to do your thing as well. Turn left at intersection, past the UN logbase at the end of the airport perimeter. Head your way north and stay on the left side of the road, which will give you sufficient room to observe the approach. Photography is best in the afternoon here.
Local Tortug'Air L-410 in take-off from runway 28, taken at spot 1. Wim Sonneveld.
The best spot near the international terminal is spot 2, where this Aerocaribbean Il-18 was graphed on the runway. Wim Sonneveld.
|HH-AHA||C-46C, stored east of domestic terminal|
|HH-AHD||C-46C, stored east of domestic terminal|
|HH-LTA||C-118A, preserved at Argentinean UN compound|
|HH-OMA||CV440, stored at UN compound|
|HH-SCA||DC-6, preserved at Chilean UN compound|
|N79745||B727, stored at main apron|
Order of Battle Haiti
|Haiti - Police|