Rio de Janeiro – Galeão International Airport has become the first such facility in the Americas region to earn IATA’s CEIV-Pharma Certification this week. The effort is part of a US$10 million bid to attract a larger share of one of airfreight’s most lucrative types of cargo.
In addition to extensive training, audits and assessments, followed by improvements to the airport’s pharmaceutical handling infrastructure and processes, RIOgaleão recently opened its “TECA Pharma 2” facility, which tripled the airport’s cold-storage capacity to 17,000 square meters and added 1,400 pallet positions. The facility features an automated cargo storage system and two temperature-controlled environments (one for 2° to 8°C and one for 16° to 22° C), as well as anterooms and docks that are also climate-controlled.
Approximately 25 percent of RIOgaleão’s cargo revenues are related to temperature-controlled pharma freight. The airport is a hub for the Brazilian government’s vaccination campaigns that target remote areas, making RIOgaleão a critical node for both commerce and social services.
“Air transport, nowadays, requires special capabilities for the handling of pharmaceuticals,” explained Carlos Ebner, IATA’s director for Brazil. “CEIV-Pharma is a program that seeks to implement international standards of supply chain management, addressing chain challenges, including the latest achievements in the transportation of pharmaceuticals.”
RIOgaleão Cargo’s terminal – owned by a consortium made up of Brazilian heavyweight Odebrecht TransPort, Singapore’s Changi, and Infraero, a Brazilian government aviation company – is situated 17 kilometers from the Port of Rio de Janeiro. The airport has a 4,000-meter-long runway, the longest in Brazil. The freight side of the airport has nine parking positions allotted to freighters, which can operate 24 hours per day, without restrictions on capacity or landing times.