Changi Airport Group (CAG) announced today that it will be the first airport in Asia to launch a community of cargo partners whom it will support to pursue the attainment of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators on Pharmaceutical Handling (CEIV Pharma) certification – strengthening Changi’s capabilities to handle pharmaceutical cargo. The move follows the very successful pioneering work of Brussels Airport to undertake the community approach to CEIV Pharma certification.
In Singapore the first batch of companies in the Changi CEIV Community consists of SIA Cargo (freighter carrier), dnata Singapore (airport ground handler), Global Airfreight International, Expeditors Singapore, CEVA Logistics Singapore, and Schenker Singapore (freight forwarders). SATS Coolport, a major cargo player at Changi Airport, was the first facility in the world to attain the IATA CEIV Pharma certification in 2014. CAG will progressively work with more cargo partners to attain this certification.
CAG will be supporting these six companies as they undergo this certification programme, through cost support measures and the coordination of training sessions. The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) will also co-fund the costs for these companies through the provision of assistance grants.
The IATA CEIV Pharma is a standardised global certification programme that helps companies comply with existing global pharmaceutical guidelines. For instance, companies undergoing this certification process will have to maintain a cargo hold temperature setting of between 10-25 degrees Celsius and ensure appropriate handling from tarmac to loading and unloading. Under the programme, companies will have to undergo training, as well as an assessment of their facilities and processes by independent, IATA-certified auditors to satisfy the strict requirements on pharmaceutical handling before receiving the certification.
“Pharmaceutical cargo is one of the fastest growing cargo segments in Changi Airport and one that CAG is actively promoting,” said Yam Kum Weng, executive VP, air hub & development, Changi Airport Group. “Transporting high-value, temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical cargo can be complex due to the multiple requirements. Today, with dedicated cold chain handling facilities by key cargo partners at Changi, coupled with our excellent connectivity, Changi is well-positioned to be a leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology hub in Asia.
“Through the IATA CEIV Pharma certification programme, CAG and our partners go one step further by taking a proactive approach in enhancing our cold chain handling capabilities to better serve the pharmaceuticals industry, further strengthening Changi’s position as a major cargo hub in the world.”
Said Conrad Clifford, IATA’s regional VP, Asia Pacific: “The air cargo value chain has an important role in the transportation of life-saving pharmaceutical products and medicines to markets where they are needed, while ensuring the integrity of these pharmaceutical products. Last year, the global pharmaceutical industry spent over US$10 billion on cold chain logistics, with the amount expected to exceed US$13 billion by 2019.
“The establishment of a CEIV-Pharma Certified community will position Changi Airport and Singapore as a regional leader at the forefront of this fast growing segment. I encourage other airports in the Asia Pacific region to follow Changi’s example and partner with IATA to establish similar communities as well, he added.
Deputy director-general, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Tay Tiang Guan added: “CAAS is pleased to support this effort to attain certification across the entire air cargo handling chain in Singapore. This will raise handling standards to better meet the stringent handling requirements of our growing pharmaceuticals sector, strengthening Singapore’s position as an aviation hub of choice for pharmaceuticals air freight.”
A leading cargo hub in Asia and among the top 10 in the world, Changi handled 1.85 million tonnes of cargo in 2015. Pharmaceuticals are one of the best performing cargo segments, growing a robust 45 per cent year-on-year in 2015.