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Wed, 9 December 2020

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 Singapores pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. We have good cold chain handling infrastructure and capabilities. With our strong air connectivity and SIAs 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.

Changi Airport in Singapore is one of the most important aviation hubs, for cargo and passenger traffic, in Asia Pacific. Picture of Singapore Airlines aircraft at Changi by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

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 hubs 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 Airports 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.

dnatas CoolChain and SATS Coolport, which consist of temperature-controlled warehouses with adjustable temperature ranges between -25C and +25C, 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 airports 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, Changis 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.

See latest Travel Industry News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, Singapore, Changi, Pharma, Vaccines.

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