The Air Force did initially give priority to military units that were sent to secure the airport, distribute aid and keep the peace. But then it started taking flights according to a reservation system open to anyone.
Because of that, key aid was delayed in some cases while less-critical flights got in.
Nearly all the groups sending in aid insisted their load was urgent, said Air Force Capt. Justin Longmire, who has been coordinating the flight schedules and is helping prepare the airport to reopen for commercial flights on Friday.
"Could I take the list of all the flights and put it in order of most important to least important? Water? Food? Digging equipment? Doctors? I don't think so," Longmire said.
‘It was extremely frustrating’
The result: Church of Scientology ministers landed, as did AP reporters, CNN's Anderson Cooper and diapers from Canada. But a French portable hospital and planeloads of doctors with medical supplies were diverted to the Dominican Republic.
Friday, February 19, 2010
haiti flight logs detail early chaos after quake
Some vital relief aid had to wait because of the way U.S. handled flights