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Humanitarian flights out of hurricane devastated city of Acapulco begin

Acapulco, Guerrero — Air transport on a humanitarian basis has begun in the hurricane devastated city of Acapulco. The Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT) says they have gradually began the implementation of emergency flights in the Port of Acapulco in support of tourists stranded by Hurricane Otis.

The first flights in were used to transport supplies and around 60 doctors with technical support.

“Once the air navigation services for emergency activities were partially reestablished, in coordination with the airport managing company Centro Norte Airport Group (OMA) and the companies Aeroméxico, Volaris and VivaAerobús, the flights were announced,” the SICT said in a statement.

On Friday, those airlines began offering free trips to Mexico City according to passenger demand.

The rescue actions were coordinated by the SICT, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of the Navy, the Ministry of National Defense, the National Guard, as well as the Centro Norte Airport Group (OMA) and the airline companies.

On site is the director of Navigation Services in the Mexican Airspace (SENEAM), Javier Alonso Vega Dour, and specialized technical personnel from the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) supervised Control Tower work.

“Due to the complex physical situation of airport facilities, support flights will only be carried out until 5:00 p.m. while all electrical and supply services for the operation of aircraft on the ground are normalized,” the SICT added.

Likewise, meeting points will be implemented in Acapulco for transfers to the airports. The first flight to arrive was Aeroméxico, which will be followed by VivaAerobús and Volaris.

“These flights are humanitarian, not commercial,” they reported clarifying that priority flights to Mexico City will be given to pregnant women, children, the sick, disabled and the elderly.

On Ocober 25, the Acapulco International Airport suspended operations due to damage from Hurricane Otis. The Ministry of Communications and Transportation reported that a local emergency plan was activated by the command of the Acapulco International Airport.

The SICT, through the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC), said Wednesday that the Acapulco International Airport suspended operations until further notice following the effects of Hurricane Otis.

Telecommunications were affected leaving the airport without electricity and without mobile or landline telephone communication. Damage to infrastructure was found to be to the perimeter fencing and an inspection to equipment found broken telescopic aisles, flooding of the counter area with approximately 5 cms of water, the control tower out of service with broken glass and the headquarters destroyed, they detailed in their statement.

Also, access roads to the airport were blocked. The humanitarian flights from Acapulco to Mexico City will continue according to passenger demand. Hurricane Otis made landfall in Acapulco October 25 as a Category 5 with winds in excess of 260 kms/hour.