“The COVID-19 vaccines that have been registered for approval give hope that a long-term, effective and large-scale measure to combat the pandemic will soon be available. Time will be a key success factor here; rapid and careful handling of the vaccines with the cold chain in place and efficient distribution to the recipients have top priority. This requires a high-performance logistics infrastructure that is able to handle temperature-sensitive goods quickly and efficiently. As with the medical aid deliveries, which were handled around the clock at the airport in the first few months of the pandemic, we are well prepared for this challenge. In times of crisis in particular, the investment in pharmaceutical handling, for which around € 4 million was necessary. In any case, the capacities created in this way are sufficient to guarantee reliable supplies to Austria ”, say the board members of Flughafen Wien AG, Mag. Julian Jäger and Dr. Günther Ofner, firmly.
Pharma Handling Center: Freight handling without interrupting the cold chain
The Pharma Handling Center is located in the Air Cargo Center at Vienna Airport and has a 1,650 m² cargo hall with three separate temperature areas. Depending on the requirements, these cooling areas have different temperatures, so sensitive pharmaceuticals are stored in a perfectly coordinated temperature environment. With a box-in-box system, further individually temperature-controlled cold or deep-freeze storage up to the dry ice area is possible. Temperature-sensitive cargo, such as pharmaceuticals, is brought from the aircraft directly to the Pharma Handling Center in special refrigerated containers. Nearby parking positions for cargo planes ensure short distances and rapid handling.
After customs clearance, the goods are prepared for transport on trucks in the 2000 m² Road Feeder Terminal. With its Pharma Handling Center, Vienna Airport has the only competence center for temperature-sensitive freight in the Eastern European catchment area.
Indispensable: Vienna Airport was an important logistics hub during the crisis
From January to October 2020, a total of 177,415 tons of air freight were moved in the cargo halls of Vienna Airport. In contrast to the number of passengers, which fell by more than 72% from January to October 2020, freight numbers only fell by around 24% in the same period. This makes it clear how important the airport is as a logistics hub and supply gateway for all of Austria and Eastern Europe. Since the beginning of the pandemic in Austria, numerous deliveries of medical aid from Asia and other parts of the world have been handled at Vienna Airport at any time of the day or night. With its freight infrastructure and handling team, Vienna Airport is well prepared for the deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines that are hopefully expected soon.
(red / VIE)