Brussels Airport bolsters preparedness ahead of COVID-19 vaccine storage and movement

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Brussels Airport (BRU) is ready to receive and ship the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines. The taskforce at Brucargo, the cargo division of the airport, is working with full force on preparing scenarios for the import and export of the various types of vaccines in a safe and efficient way.

Each type of vaccine demands a different form of transport, packaging and storage. Some vaccines, for example, have to be shipped on dry ice, while others will demand refrigeration at the customary 2-80 Celsius.

In addition, the manufacturing location of the vaccines, the number of doses per person, the volume that a cargo pallet with vaccines will occupy taking into account the packaging, and so on, are mapped out in different scenarios, in order to quickly respond once a vaccine is available.

“We have, together with our community partner Air Cargo Belgium, set up the Taskforce BRUcare especially for the COVID-19 vaccine so that we can guarantee, in partnership with the major vaccine manufacturers, a reliable and rapid transport at our airport,” said Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.

“As Europe’s preferred airport for the transport of temperature-sensitive products, Brussels Airport has been investing for over 10 years in a range of services and products tailored to the needs of the pharmaceutical sector, one of the country’s key industries,” said Feist.

 “The COVID-19 vaccine story yet again shows the strength of Brucargo. Thanks to the community’s extensive experience in transporting vaccines, in particular the Ebola vaccine on dry ice, and the long-standing collaboration, our cargo community can offer a robust logistics platform for importing and exporting all types of COVID-19 vaccines, at the service of public health,” said Geert Keirens, Director of Air Cargo Belgium.

“In addition, ACB, thanks to a partnership with the province of Flemish Brabant, is focusing on a community control tower function, whereby COVID-19 vaccine shipments will be continuously monitored at Brucargo,” added Keirens.

Brussels Airport has the largest number of pharma-certified companies under the IATA CEIV1 programme on the cargo site. With 30,000 sq mt of temperature-controlled area, it has the largest space per sq mt in Europa in first and second-line access to the tarmac to provide refrigerated storage of pharmaceutical products.

With its digital data-sharing platform BRUcloud, Brussels Airport also wants to make it possible to track temperature-sensitive shipment in real time and monitor temperatures at any moment in the transport chain.

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