The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has awarded Fraport AG renewed CEIV Pharma certification — acknowledging that its handling of time-critical and temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical goods at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) is at par with its standards.


Fraport received its first certification in 2018 under IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV) program. In a recent follow-up audit, Fraport has been recertified for another three years – in recognition of FRA’s systematic and seamless processes for handling pharmaceuticals.


Self Photos / Files - IATA Pharma Zertifikat


IATA developed CEIV as a global standard to provide airlines, airport operators, handling companies and forwarding agents with internationally recognized guidelines for the handling and transport of pharmaceutical goods. 


FRA as Europe's pharma hub


“Securing recertification underscores the strong performance and reliability of our processes, equipment and systems deployed for handling sensitive pharmaceutical products,” said Fraport AG’s head of Ground Services, Siegfried Pasler.


“This CEIV recognition ... further strengthens Frankfurt Airport’s position as Europe’s leading pharma hub. During the coronavirus pandemic, we have clearly demonstrated the vital role that airfreight plays in supplying the world’s population,” he added, noting that Frankfurt Airport also serves as a key partner in the distribution of vaccines.


Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year’s certification process was conducted entirely as a virtual audit. The IATA auditor reached his decision with the aid of documents and video clips provided in advance, followed up by virtual interviews.


“The circumstances for the recertification were unusual for everyone involved. But thanks to the excellent preparatory work, we were able to give the auditor a realistic look at our processes,” Pasler added.


The audit assessed various areas including equipment, IT services, defined processes, and training programs.


Cool chain capability


Fraport said it’s two newest refrigerated transporters – designed specifically for pharmaceuticals – allow the inside temperature inside to be controlled precisely in the minus 20 to plus 30 degrees Celsius range.


In total, Frankfurt Airport currently boasts about 13,500 square meters of temperature-controlled handling space. Some 120,000 metric tons of pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other medical goods are handled at the FRA global hub yearly.