New Articles
  June 2nd, 2016 | Written by

Miami and Brussels Airports Launch Global Pharma Air Hub Alliance

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="13106399"]


  • Miami International Airport is the busiest U.S. airport for international freight.
  • Pharma products are one of the fastest-growing commodity groups at Miami International Airport.
  • Pharma products transported through Miami has increased by 62 percent since 2010 to $3 billion in 2015.

Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González announced yesterday that Miami International Airport has partnered with Brussels Airport to create an international pharma air hub alliance.

The goal of the alliance is to bolster what is already a thriving industry for the two air cargo gateways. The alliance, which was signed into effect on the opening day of the 2016 The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) Executive Summit and Annual General Meeting in Hollywood Beach, Florida, aims to build a network of airports dedicated to growing the global pharmaceutical (pharma) industry – an economic sector the World Health Organization projects will rise in value from $300 billion to $400 billion within the next three years.

Miami and Brussels are the first two airports in the world to be designated as pharmaceuticals freight hubs by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Geneva-based organization that represents some 260 airlines, or 83 percent of the world’s total air traffic. Both airports organized their respective pharma logistic supply chains to undergo IATA’s Pharma Certification Program, which verifies that high-value, temperature-sensitive drugs and medicines are transported in accordance with global best practices. Miami is the busiest U.S. airport for international freight, with pharma products being one of its fastest-growing commodity groups. The total value of pharma products transported through Miami has increased by 62 percent since 2010 to nearly $3 billion in 2015.

“We are proud to form this groundbreaking air cargo alliance with Brussels Airport,” said González. “As the busiest U.S. airport for temperature-controlled products, Miami has been on the cutting edge of this growth market, and we look forward to collaborating with our colleagues in Brussels to expand both of our pharma trade networks.”

The goal of the alliance is to be a collaborative group of IATA-certified airports that will grow the pharma air transport industry by sharing market knowledge and expertise; supporting implementation of best practices; exploring the development of new infrastructure and equipment for handling pharma products; fostering joint route development focusing on pharma routes and certified routes; and hosting industry forums and workshops.

“In the past three to four years, we have been working very closely with the pharma manufacturers, which has resulted in the IATA CEIV Program we organised at Brussels,” said Steven Polmans, Head of Cargo Sales and Marketing at Brussels Airport. “This continuous dialogue has taught us that there still is a lot of work to be done before we can be considered a true and reliable transport partner for them. We now want to continue strengthening our approach by bringing it to a global level and create end-to-end solutions for the pharma industry. The organization will be very much content-focused, developing solutions and creating transparency in very close cooperation with Miami and the pharma industry.”