Singapore Air Cargo Hub Ready for COVID19 Vaccines

(09 Dec 2020)
The Changi Ready Taskforce, co-led by the Civil
Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group
(CAG), have confirmed that the Singapore air cargo hub is ready
for the transportation and distribution of COVID19 vaccines.

Comprising 18 members from across the Changi air
cargo community, the taskforce is a public-private collaboration
involving government agencies, cargo handlers, airlines and
freight forwarders.

Mr Ho Yuen Sang, Director (Aviation
Industry), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, and co-lead of
the Changi Ready Taskforce said, “Over the years, Changi Airport
has built a strong track record in pharmaceutical handling by air,
from serving Singapore’s pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. We
have good cold chain handling infrastructure and capabilities.
With our strong air connectivity and SIA’s fleet of more than 200 passenger aircraft, we can deliver vaccines to multiple
destinations according to demand. We are well-positioned to play a
critical role in distributing COVID19 vaccines to Singapore and
the region. By bringing all players in the air cargo supply chain
together through the Changi Ready Taskforce, CAAS and our partners
can ensure the safe, reliable and effective transportation of
these vaccines.”


The taskforce was established to
better prepare the IATA CEIV Pharma certified air cargo community
in Singapore to meet the logistical
demands of vaccines distribution. This includes assessing and
ramping the hub’s ability to handle different types of COVID19
vaccines, all within stringent temperature-controlled environment
to maintain the vaccines’ efficacy, as well as to manage an
expected surge in the volume of vaccines to be air transported to
the region, once they are approved by regulators.

Changi Airport’s cargo handlers – dnata and SATS,
have steadily been enhancing their cool chain infrastructure and
equipment over the years to support the growing demands for
transporting temperature-controlled cargo.

dnata’s CoolChain and
SATS’ Coolport, which consist of temperature-controlled warehouses
with adjustable temperature ranges between -25°C and +25°C,
together cover more than 9,000 sqm. They offer a combined annual
cool chain handling capacity of 375,000 tonnes with the ability to
scale up when required.

Both dnata and SATS have also
recently introduced cool dollies – temperature-controlled
containers designed specifically for temperature-sensitive goods
to be transported with the highest level of cool chain integrity
and visibility on the tarmac, between the aircraft and their
temperature-controlled warehouses.

Further strengthening the
airport’s end-to-end cool chain integrity, both handlers are also
equipped with multiple temperature-controlled truck docks and
round-the-clock shipment monitoring. In addition, both handlers’ facilities are equipped with essential surveillance systems to
ensure the security of the cargo.

Both CAG and SATS are part of
the global task force Project Sunrays – a joint initiative between
The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) and Pharma.Aero.
The project aims to create transparency between pharma shippers
and the global air cargo industry and establish useful guidelines
for the air cargo industry to ensure the proper handling, storage,
and transportation of high volume COVID19 vaccines.

Even though the COVID19 pandemic has decimated air
travel demand, resulting in a steep decline in passenger aircraft
movements with a corresponding reduction in belly-hold capacity,
Changi’s airline partners have been quick to ramp up charters and
scheduled freighter operations since the onset of the pandemic. As of 1 December 2020, weekly cargo flights at
Changi Airport have tripled to more than 950 flights compared to
end-2019. Changi Airport is now connected to about 80 cities by
weekly cargo flights.

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