Gov. DeSantis confirms first Haiti rescue flight is headed to Orlando area
Image via AP.

Ron DeSantis
This is the 'first of many' flights.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is announcing that the first of a series of flights bringing Americans back from war-torn Haiti will be landing in Central Florida, with 14 total travelers, including some children, set to be back on U.S. soil at 6:25 p.m.

“A plane carrying passengers has left Haitian airspace and is on the way here to Sanford Airport,” DeSantis said, adding that this would be the “first of probably many flights to bring people, U.S. citizens who are in harm’s way given what’s going on in Haiti.

DeSantis noted that people being picked up will be on the taxpayers’ dime, so that evacuees won’t be “stuck with the bill.”

“Our mission is not something that we’re charging these people for. I think the federal government has done some, they’re charging people just like they did out of Israel,” DeSantis said. “That’s not what we’re doing.”

Director of Emergency Management Kevin Guthrie, whose Department recently launched an assistance portal for Floridians and other Americans trapped in the Caribbean country amid yet another round of domestic unrest, said 360 Floridians and 500 Americans had “requested the state’s assistance” in leaving Haiti.

Vetting travelers has taken time, he added. Two flights were hoped for Tuesday, and four Wednesday, but this is the first one that has actually happened.

Guthrie described a “complicated process,” including a police roadblock trying to get people to landing zones, but that “everybody was very happy” to be coming back to Florida.

DeSantis has been vague in terms of details, rolling them out slowly and with seeming attention to his audience, such as during a recent Fox News interview where he noted that “Christian missionary groups” would be rescued at the expense of Florida taxpayers.

Costs for this operation are undisclosed. These can add up: the Israel flights cost $19 million, as the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

DeSantis framed foreign rescue flights as part of the state’s mission.

“So this is just something that we do as a state. We have a state that reaches in far corners all around the world. Of course, Israel, there’s a tremendous relationship there. And then Haiti, you know, being someplace that’s in our backyard, we have a lot of people that have gone there to help people,” DeSantis said, adding those “folks need our help now because the situation has become very dire.”

Guthrie described a white-glove, “customer service oriented” approach to bringing them home, with “door to door service” just as evacuees from Israel last year got.

“We’re picking people up at the front door, getting them to a plane, getting to this airport and getting them back to their front door in Florida.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • rick whitaker

    March 20, 2024 at 5:07 pm

    poor little desantis, running around acting like he is competent and important

    • Impeach Biden

      March 20, 2024 at 7:36 pm

      He is important. Look at you paying attention from Tennessee.

      • MH/Duuuval

        March 20, 2024 at 8:22 pm

        Corey Mills beat Dee to the punch.

        And, there’s the obit today for Jean Maria Arrigo, the US psychologist, who blew the whistle on “enhanced interrogation,” making the case that the US was torturing Iraqi prisoners based on techniques used by the PRC against US POWs in Korea.

        Dee was complicit.

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  • Earl Pitts "The Big Voice On The Right" American

    March 20, 2024 at 6:14 pm

    Good evening America,
    This rescue is just one of many Sage Reasons to elect Ron and Casey to the office of POTUS right after The Donald serves his last upcoming 4 year term.
    Earl Pitts American

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 20, 2024 at 9:03 pm

    House the Haitian refugees at Maga Lardo!

Comments are closed.


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