TIACA and Pharma.Aero jointly release their second report for the global air cargo and pharmaceutical industries outlining 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 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.
Air Transportation and Handling Recommended Practices
The report details the role and recommended practices for each stakeholder in the air cargo supply chain when addressing the four major requirements identified. Both TIACA and Pharma.Aero encourage the industry to adopt a local air cargo community approach in executing these specific requirements.
Air Cargo Community Initiatives
Based on Project Sunrays’ second global readiness survey, the group of respondents that are the most prepared for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution are those having 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 together with Air Cargo Belgium started the BRUcure task force, aiming to prepare the 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 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 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 and Changi Airport Group, 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 organized 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.
The report also features the latest information on the different COVID-19 vaccine candidates that have received approval or are in the final stage of clinical trials.