The Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) announces that the Incheon Airport Community has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the world’s first airport community to receive Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Lithium Batteries Certification from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The CEIV certification is a globally recognized standard system established by IATA to ensure the highest quality and reliability in air transportation. It encompasses four distinct categories: Pharmaceuticals (Pharma), Live Animals, Perishable Goods (Fresh), and Lithium Batteries (Li-batt).
Incheon International Airport has accomplished an extraordinary feat by securing certification in all three categories: Pharmaceuticals, Perishable Goods, and now, Lithium Batteries. With the addition of the Lithium Batteries certification, Incheon International Airport has not only demonstrated its international credibility in ensuring the highest air transport standards for sensitive cargo, but it has also solidified its position as the world’s second-largest air cargo hub airport by obtaining all three certifications—CEIV Pharma, Fresh, and Li-Batt—simultaneously for the first time in history.
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To acquire the CEIV Li-Batt certification, the Corporation established the Incheon Airport Community in December 2022, consisting of a total of 11 companies, including three airlines, one ground handling company, and six logistics companies. Over a meticulous five-month period, the community underwent rigorous certification procedures, including comprehensive education and evaluations, resulting in every member successfully obtaining the certification.
While individual airlines, forwarders, and operators worldwide have previously achieved IATA’s Lithium Batteries certification since its inception in October 2021, this remarkable collective certification of an airport and its entire community is a pioneering accomplishment.
Driven by the escalating demand for lithium batteries due to e-commerce and electric vehicle markets, IATA recently introduced additional Lithium Batteries certification to ensure the safe transportation of these batteries in the global air cargo market. Lithium batteries are extensively utilized in a wide range of devices, tools, and electronic products. However, if improperly packaged or transported, they can pose risks such as heat generation, sparks, or fires.
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The Lithium Batteries certification award ceremony took place on May 25 at the Grand Hyatt Incheon, South Korea. Mr. Phillip Goh, IATA Regional Vice President Asia Pacific, congratulated the Incheon International Airport Corporation on becoming the first airport community worldwide to achieve the CEIV Lithium Batteries certification. He emphasized the critical importance of maintaining a network of competent companies that adhere to the highest industry standards in the transport, handling, and quality management of lithium battery shipments throughout the supply chain.
During the ceremony, Acting President Hee-Jeong Lee of the Corporation expressed her delight at receiving this certification, which recognizes Incheon Airport’s exceptional logistics system for the safe handling of hazardous materials like lithium batteries. She proudly stated, “As the world’s first airport to obtain this certification, we will lead the way in the lithium battery air transport market.”
The Incheon Airport Community, consisting of Incheon International Airport, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, and global logistics company DB Schenker Korea, was formed to pursue excellence in various certifications. In June 2019, the community successfully obtained the IATA CEIV Pharma certification. Complying with regulations that require recertification every three years, the community underwent a thorough verification process and was recertified in September 2022. The IATA CEIV Pharma certification involves a meticulous evaluation of over 280 criteria, including pharmaceutical transportation procedures, storage facilities, equipment, and regulations, guaranteeing reliable air transport quality for temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals such as vaccines.
Furthermore, in November 2022, the Incheon Airport Community, comprised of the Incheon International Airport Corporation, Asiana Airlines, LX Pantos, and Seoul Air Cargo, achieved certification for Fresh Perishable Goods (CEIV Fresh). CEIV Fresh is an internationally recognized certification introduced by IATA in 2019, which ensures the stable air transport quality of perishable goods under stringent cold chain management systems. Incheon Airport joins the ranks of Hong Kong Airport, Oman Airport, and Changi Airport as the fourth airport in the world to obtain this certification.
Looking ahead, the Corporation plans to expand its efforts by collaborating with airports worldwide to establish an international organization division dedicated to ensuring the safe transportation of lithium batteries.
As of December 2022, Incheon Airport boasts dedicated cargo routes connecting 107 cities in 43 countries through 25 airlines. The routes are spread across various regions, including 20 routes to China, 6 to Japan, 10 to Southeast Asia, 27 to North America, 5 to Central and South America, and 18 to Europe. When considering passenger flights, Incheon Airport’s comprehensive aviation network seamlessly links 152 cities in 53 countries, providing round-the-clock connectivity.