At the TIACA annual meeting held in Florida, both airports announced the creation of a new globally acting organization focussing on the improvement of pharma handling and air transports of these sensitive products. The new coalition, named ‘pharma.aero’ targets airport communities that embrace IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) program.
By launching ‘pharma.aero’, BRU and MIA take the next step for enhancing the quality of door-door pharma transports. So far, airports with high pharma throughput concentrated mostly on ground
handling processes, the intermediate storage of temperature critical goods in special cool rooms, the adequate packaging of pharma shipments at warehouses located on site or alike provisions to
assure top product quality and fast ground handling processes.
Focussing on lane certification
Now, with the launch of ‘pharma.aero’, achieving lane certification for pharma transports by air moves into the spotlight, thus increasing the quality of transports along the entire supply chain and make processes visible for the participants from beginning to end.
It’s no coincidence that two heavyweights in pharma handling took the initiative at the margins of the TIACA meeting to launch ‘pharma.aero’. In 2014, Brussels Airport was the first and still is the largest CEIV community in the world that keeps on growing. Last year, Miami was the first airport organizing a similar community setup in the Americas.
Both airports have been working together and sharing ideas in the past year on the topic of pharma and cool chain and wish to continue to do so in an even formal and structured way. This approach has led to the creation of the new organization.
According to their release, ‘pharma.aero’ will concentrate on three fields:
- Networking and events: bringing all stakeholders together and creating an intense dialogue between a selective group of individuals and companies.
- Standard setting: bench marking, creation of standard protocols, joint projects, innovation.
- Network of excellence for its members: sharing best practises, audit support, setting up of a knowledge center.
Creating a network of dedicated pharma airports
“As the busiest U.S. airport for international freight, perishable imports and temperature-controlled products, MIA seized the opportunity to further grow the local pharmaceutical transport industry by rallying the local cargo community and engaging them in the IATA CEIV Pharma Certification Program,” said airport director Emilio T. Gonzalez. “And, after becoming the first IATA-designated pharma hub airport in the United States (and 2nd in the world), we now turn our efforts to leveraging our strength as a pharma hub.” This will be done by collaborating with other airports around the world who share a common goal of strengthening pharma certified trade lanes and extending pharma cold supply chains to reach new international markets. “We are very pleased to work with our friends at BRU on this important initiative,” Emilio exclaimed.
Brussels Airport’s cargo chief Steven Polmans, added to this: “In the past three to four years, we have been working very closely with the pharma manufacturers, which has resulted in the IATA CEIV Program we organised at Brussels. This continuous dialogue has learned us that there still is a lot of work to be done before we can consider us as a true and reliable transport partner for them.” By tying up with Miami in the delicate pharma segment BRU intends to continue and strengthen the approach, bringing it on a global level to create end-to-end solutions for the pharma industry. “The organisation will be very much content focussed, developing solutions and creating transparency in very close co-operation with the pharma industry,” Steven stated.
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