IATA recognises Hong Kong as CEIV Pharma partner airport

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Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has been recognised as a partner airport of the IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) programme.

The globally recognised standard for pharmaceutical airfreight shipments is designed to help the industry develop a network of pharmaceutical trade lanes that meet consistent cold chain management standards and assure product integrity.

HKIA’s three cargo terminals, Asia Airfreight Terminal, Cathay Pacific Services and Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals, and three ramp handling operators Hong Kong Airport Services, Jardine Aviation Services and SATS HK, along with carrier Cathay Pacific Group have achieved IATA CEIV Pharma certification, demonstrating compliance with industry standards for handling pharmaceutical products.

A ceremony was held at the FlyPharma Conference Asia 2018 on 5 March, with IATA assistant director of cargo, ground operations and CEIV consulting, Ronald Schaefer presenting the certificate to Airport Authority Hong Kong chief executive officer, Fred Lam.

Representatives from the cargo terminals, ramp handling operators and Cathay Pacific Group were also in attendance and officiated the ceremony.

IATA regional vice president for North Asia, Zhang Baojian says shipping pharmaceuticals products is the fastest growing segment in the airfreight industry, saying: “Given the sensitive nature of the products, it is necessary to establish global standards and best practices to ensure the integrity of pharmaceutical products is not compromised when they are shipped by air.

“Having undergone a rigorous assessment for the CEIV Pharma certification, HKIA’s community stakeholders are well placed to serve this important segment of the air cargo industry. Pharmaceutical companies can also have the confidence that the cold-chain integrity of their products is maintained.”

Lam says: “Pharmaceutical air cargo shipments has a strong market outlook, and this certification serves a testimony of HKIA’s dedication in continuously enhancing its air cargo facilities for even higher efficiency and reliability.

“I would like to express my gratitude to our business partners for their tremendous contributions over the years.  Our airport could not have achieved this certification without them.”

Pharma tonnage at HKIA has grown 12 per cent annually in the past four years, and is expected to grow annually at over 16 per cent from 2016 to 2023.

AA plans to invest HK$16 million to purchase 21 more cool dollies this year to maintain pharmaceutical products at their specific temperatures against the ambient temperature during ramp transportation.

HKIA has more than 5,000m2 of cold chain storage in its three cargo terminals, providing dedicated rooms at a range of temperatures from -20C to +25C.