SATS gets IATA pharma seal of approval

SINGAPORE Airport Terminal Services’ (SATS) perishables handling facility has become the world’s first centre of excellence in pharmaceuticals handling, as certified by IATA.
SATS Coolport was set up to cater for high growth in pharmaceuticals airfreight at Changi airport. Last year it handled more than 15,200 tonnes of pharmaceuticals.
IATA certification gives pharmaceutical companies a guarantee of excellence in service standards and ease in conducting audits.
In turn, Changi Airport becomes an even more attractive pharmaceuticals airfreight hub, says a spokesperson.
The certification process took three months to complete and required some upgrading of the facility, including enhancements to Coolport’s dedicated pharmaceuticals zone for both acceptance and delivery of shipments.
This has ensured that the facility adheres to Good Distribution Practice (GDP) guidelines for pharmaceuticals handling.
As part of the process, IATA also assessed SATS Coolport’s procedures and policies for pharmaceuticals handling against national and international standards, in particular adherence to the IATA Temperature Control Regulations, and best practices.
More than 80 SATS employees working at the facility are undergoing a specialised training programme for pharmaceuticals handling, conducted by IATA.
Upon passing their examinations at the end of the programme, which can take up to 12 months, the staff will receive a Diploma in Pharmaceutical Handling from IATA.
The first batch of trainees is expected to graduate in October this year.
Alex Hungate, chief executive of SATS, says, “The development of SATS Coolport as the first centre of excellence in pharmaceutical handling gives our airline customers and global shippers further assurance that their pharmaceuticals shipments are handled to the most exacting standards.
“With this milestone and the growing demand for end-to-end, assured handling of high value pharmaceuticals products, SATS will now look at extending our state-of-the-art cold chain capabilities to our other operations across Asia.”
The shipping of pharmaceuticals products is reckoned to be the fastest growing market segment in the airfreight industry.

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