Aviation article(s)
January 8, 2019

Hong Kong International Airport and Brussels Airport have launched an airport-to-airport pharma corridor which caters to the specific needs of pharmaceutical shipments.


According to HKIA, the initiative was spearheaded by the two airports and in collaboration with Pharma.Aero, the global organization which aims to improve pharmaceutical handling.


“We are pleased to collaborate with Brussels Airport, Europe’s key air cargo hub for handling pharmaceutical shipments to establish this A2A pharma corridor,” said Alaina Shum, general manager of aviation logistics at Airport Authority Hong Kong. “It marks another milestone in our continuous endeavours to make HKIA a preferred pharmaceutical transhipment hub and to strengthen our status as the world’s busiest cargo airport. Moreover, to ensure airport-wide seamless temperature-controlled handling, we are taking delivery of 19 additional cool dollies for common-use by the airlines, meaning that all airlines will always have the option to deploy cool dollies for their temperature-sensitive shipments. We are also building apron shelters to protect the pharmaceutical shipments from direct weather elements.”


Both airports are members of Pharma.Aero and have attained the International Air Transport Association’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics certification with a community approach.


“Our aim is to grow the volume of pharmaceutical shipments at Brussels Airport by focusing on quality and transparency,” said Steven Polmans, head of cargo and logistics at Brussels Airport. “From the beginning, we have reached out to shippers and manufacturers to understand their requirements and work with them and the rest of our cargo community. We have been focusing on improving processes, finding innovative solutions and effectively implementing various projects. With Pharma.Aero, our focus has expanded to cover end-to-end and lane solutions. This cooperation with HKIA for a dedicated pharma lane is a first but important step in creating specialized, dedicated pharma corridors. Our pharma volumes between Brussels and Hong Kong as well as the rest of Asia and Australia are significant, so this improved solution for our customers is being welcomed by the market very much.”


Pharmaceutical shipments travelling along the corridor will be handled in strict compliance with IATA’s CEIV Pharma standard and carried by CEIV Pharma-certified airlines. Shippers will be assured of seamless A2A temperature-controlled handling and provided with handling information to guarantee the integrity of the shipments. In collaboration with Pharma.Aero and with the participation of pharma shippers, key performance indicators will be defined with the aim of setting A2A pharma-handling standards.


“We have received great support from our members including pharmaceuticals companies MSD and Pfizer to participate in this pharma corridor project,” said Frank Van Gelder, secretary general of Pharma.Aero. “Their participation will help to validate the services and key performance indices of the A2A pharma corridor, making sure it provides all pharmaceuticals shippers the genuine value and peace of mind.”


Pharma.Aero expects to roll out the initiative to other member airports in order to form a network of pharma corridors covering the major pharma trade lanes.

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