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#1492: Airport taxes etc. : Hudicourt

From: gilles hudicourt <hudic@videotron.ca>

My uncle, the late William (Tison) McIntosh, as director of Pan American
Airways in Port-of-Prince ran the Port-au-Prince airport from its
inauguration in the early sixties to the early to mid eighties, except for a
couple years around 1979-1980 when American Airlines ran it.  At first it
was run by Pan Am employees, but at a later date the employees were
segragated in tow groups, Pam Am employees for the airline  and AAIPP
employees (Autorité Aéroportuaire de Port-au-Prince) to run the airport.
Pam Am ran both administrations.  Around 1981, the government of J-C
Duvalier created AAN (Autorité Aéroportuaire Nationale) which became in
charge of all civil airports in Haïti.  AAIPP and AAN were run as
independent government run corporations just like Teleco and Electricité
d'Haïti, except for a major difference:  they were run efficiently, were
self sufficient and posted a profit every year.  The airport renovations and
the runway extentions from 8000 to 10000 feet made around 1980 were entirely
funded from airport revenues (loans were taken but paid off by the airport,
not the government).  The work that begun at the Cap-Haïtian airport was AAN
funded also.
When my uncle retired in the mid eighties, AAN had about 130 employee and
posted a profit.  Management was handed over to Maurice Laurent, an honest
and decent person.  One day, he was ambushed and beaten by thugs sent by an
FADH Colonel who wanted the job.  Laurent resigned and the Colonel got the
job.  He also had the long employed director's secretary arrested in order
to replace her by a secretary better suited to the job description he had in
mind.  For several years AAN management was handed over to FADH officers
before going back to political appointees.  When I last inquired around
1997, AAN had around 500 employees, not counting red-caps and was no longer
able to cope with its operating expenses.  Work at Cap-Haitien airport was
suspended for years for lack of funds.  It had become a Teleco look alike.