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Japan's Narita Airport receives special IATA certification for transport of medical goods

Narita International Airport (Mainichi/Tadakazu Nakamura)
This photo shows the IATA CEIV Pharma Partner Airport certificate awarded to Narita International Airport. (Mainichi)

NARITA, Chiba -- Pharmaceutical product transporters at Narita International Airport have cleared top world standards to receive Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) certification from the International Airport Transport Association (IATA).

    The certification recognized the airport in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, as an IATA CEIV Pharma Partner Airport.

    The airport has received imports of coronavirus vaccines since February. Narita International Airport Corp. explained that the quality control system that has been established will also function effectively for the transport of vaccines.

    A ceremony commemorating the certification was held at the airport on March 30. To receive it, the airport passed some 300 requirements including temperature control and response to accidents, with eight companies including All Nippon Airways Co., Nippon Cargo Airlines Co. and Nippon Express Co., which handle international carriage at the airport, undergoing English training and on-site inspections. The airport company had supported acquisition of the certification for a year and a half.

    A high level of quality is sought in the transportation of pharmaceutical products. When deciding on airport ground support businesses in charge of such tasks as unloading cargo, there is a high possibility the pharmaceutical companies that own the products will focus on whether or not they have the CEIV Pharma certification. The airport company released a statement saying, "With the importance of the transportation of medical products growing around the world, we will contribute to safe transportation, and promote the airport as a base for air cargo distribution."

    In 2019, Narita Airport handled around 2.04 million metric tons of cargo -- the seventh highest level among airports around the world.

    (Japanese original by Tadakazu Nakamura, Narita Bureau)

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