TIACA and Pharma.Aero release second report on transportation and handling of COVID-19 vaccines

Posted: 3 February 2021 | | No comments yet

The report outlines the recommended practices to ensure that all vaccine transportation by air meets the highest standards of speed, security, reliability and transparency.

COVID-19 vaccines

The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) and Pharma.Aero have jointly released their second report for the global air cargo and pharmaceutical industries that outlines the recommended practices and insights for effective COVID-19 vaccine air transportation and handling. The report reinforces that COVID-19 vaccines are of high value and are urgent time- and temperature-sensitive products.

As the vaccines are being transported across the globe, it is apparent that the challenge of COVID-19 vaccine global distribution demands the highest standards of speed, security, reliability and transparency. “To this end, open communication and air cargo community collaboration are paramount,” stated Nathan De Valck, Chairman of Pharma.Aero.

The report details the role and recommended practices for each stakeholder in the air cargo supply chain when addressing the four major requirements that have been identified. Both TIACA and Pharma.Aero are encouraging the industry to adopt a local air cargo community approach in executing these specific requirements.   

Based on Project Sunrays’ – a TIACA and Pharma.Aero joint project that was created to help the air cargo industry get ready for this unprecedented challenge – second global readiness survey, the group of respondents that are the most prepared for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution are those that have the combination of dedicated teams and effective collaboration with vaccine manufacturers and their supply chain partners. This demonstrated the importance of air cargo community efforts.

The project welcomed the formation of local air cargo communities in several key air cargo hubs, including some members of Sunrays’ Joint Task Force (JTF):

Brussels Airport’s BRUcure Task Force 

Brussels Airport (BRU), together with Air Cargo Belgium, started the BRUcure Task Force, aiming to prepare local cargo community stakeholders and align all resources and procedures for the correct handling of COVID-19 vaccines once they started moving through Brussels Airport.

Edmonton International Airport’s CEIV Cargo Community Ready Response

In early fall 2020, Edmonton International Airport’s (YEG) CEIV cargo community and partners began preparing for the safe arrival, storage and deployment of vaccines destined for the Canadian region.

Miami International Airport’s MIAVAC19 Task Force

In anticipation of the eventual development of a COVID-19 vaccine, Miami International Airport (MIA) formed the MIAVAC19 Task Force, a community partnership made up of both public and private entities.

Singapore Changi Airport’s Changi Ready Task Force

Co-led by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group (CAG), the Changi Ready Task Force is a public-private collaboration involving government agencies, cargo handlers, airlines and freight forwarders to better prepare the Singapore air cargo community to meet the logistical demands of the COVID-19 vaccines distribution.

The four communities shared their best practices and lessons learned during the set-up and implementation of their respective air cargo community initiatives. Collectively, these four air cargo communities – as well as the other Joint Task Force members – highlight and underscore the following imperatives: 

  • Clear local air cargo community objectives
  • Inclusive organised structure
  • Equal importance with global collaboration
  • Recognition that the first vaccines are just the beginning
  • Build collaboration and trust.

“It is critical for airports to plan and prepare themselves by mapping out their infrastructure and collaborating with their stakeholders to effectively manage the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines,” explained Emir Pineda, member of TIACA’s Board of Directors.

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