Certified pharmaceutical logistics: Budapest Airport joining global quality assurance system

Certified pharmaceutical logistics: Budapest Airport joining global quality assurance system

Budapest Airport is introducing a quality assurance system encompassing all phases of pharmaceutical transportation in Hungary, with the management of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The aim of the project, launched together with freight forwarder, transporter and ground handling companies, is to ensure that medical supplies should reach their targets under strictly controlled circumstances, quickly and safely, assuring quality during the entire transportation process.

The past year has highlighted more than ever before that the pharmaceutical and medical sector relies greatly on the air freight industry. Not just during a global pandemic, but under all circumstances it is important that medical supplies should be forwarded from the sender to the recipient as quickly as possible, always strictly ensuring an environment that will preserve their quality. Budapest Airport has therefore decided to introduce the CEIV Pharma pharmaceutical logistics standard in Hungary, with the professional guidance of IATA. The quality assurance process will be introduced based on IATA’s developments and the GDP system used by the European Union and the WHO, in such a way that it should also comply fully with Hungarian regulations.

Budapest Airport’s partners, forwarders Agility, Airmax Cargo and cargo-partner, road transporter Prevost and ground handling companies Celebi and Menzies have also joined the CEIV Pharma quality assurance system in Hungary. As part of this, regulations include developing these companies’ facilities, assets and processes, as well as the further training of employees. Thus, all steps within the pharmaceutical logistics process can be implemented under controlled and assured circumstances.

Medical supplies – medical equipment and pharmaceutical products – have come into the focus of attention all over the world during the past year. However, pharmaceutical logistics is of key importance not only during a global pandemic; that is why we decided to safeguard it in the framework of a new quality assurance system that pharmaceuticals should get to where they are needed even faster and under stricter safe conditions” said Dr. Rolf Schnitzler, the CEO of Budapest Airport. “Such a large project can only be implemented in cooperation with all those involved in the supply chain; on behalf of Budapest Airport, I would therefore like to thank IATA and our partners from the cargo community for the support,” he added.

We are delighted to welcome Budapest Airport and select air cargo stakeholders from the local community to the CEIV Pharma program,” commented Rafael Schvartzman, regional vice president Europe for IATA. “Under the current pandemic circumstances, partnerships such as this reinforce the air cargo industry’s resilience and competitiveness. As we embark on what is deemed to be the single most important logistics challenge in aviation's history – the transportation of billions of vaccine doses around the world - this initiative sends a positive signal that air cargo is mobilizing to support the sector, by adapting to the pressing need for standardization and digitization,” he added.

On behalf of the companies who make up the Pharmaceutical Division of the Hungarian Association of Logistics, Purchasing and Inventory Management, we believe the introduction of the CEIV Pharma quality assurance system under the professional guidance of IATA fully ensures that the storage of pharmaceutical products during aerial transportation should comply with the requirements of the GDP throughout the entire process, as all participants receive trainings, while processes and documentation management are audited,” emphasized Mária Kellner, Head of the Pharmaceutical Division of the Hungarian Association of Logistics, Purchasing and Inventory Management. “We would be happy to see as many companies involved in air freight as possible joining this system, as this certification provides greater assurance for us, customers ordering pharmaceutical products, that applicable regulations are always complied with during aerial transportation,” she added.

CEIV Pharma is one of the most widely used systems; nearly three hundred large companies, airlines and airports all over the world have chosen to utilize this certification scheme. By introducing it, Budapest Airport and its partners join a global network which opens excellent, new export-import opportunities for Hungary.

The Runway Run, Budapest Airport’s charity running race, started off for the tenth time on Saturday. The airport operator will again donate proceeds from the invitation-only race, which will amount to several million forints, to charity this year.