Air cargo handler Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) and Swiss WorldCargo, the air freight division of Swiss International Air Lines and major pharma air carrier, opened New York’s first GDP (Good Distribution Practice) compliant pharma facility after achieving certification of its Building 66 at JFK airport.
The GDP certification confirms WFS’ compliance with World Health Organization (WHO), IATA, and Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) quality standards for handling pharmaceutical and life science products, as well as with Service Level Agreements signed with individual airline customers in New York.
“As the leading cargo handler at JFK, we are proud to be the first airline handling facility to become GDP certified, which is in response to growing customer demand for high quality, standardized pharma handling,” said Michael Simpson, WFS’ Executive Vice President Americas. He added, “We will continue to expand our network of certified facilities, adding to our current list of JFK and Miami in the Americas as well as multiple locations in Europe.”
“We are very excited that New York’s first GDP-compliant airline facility is located at Swiss WorldCargo’s warehouse,” said Michael Ganz, Head of Northeast-/Midwest USA and Canada for Swiss WorldCargo. “This latest addition of GDP-compliant facilities allows us to offer additional quality corridors to our pharma and healthcare customers. The certification of our boutique-like single-airline facility in New York further strengthens our position as a global quality leader.”
This initiative is aligned with WFS’ program to provide coordinated cold chain handling services which secure product integrity and ensure patient safety.
Achieving GDP certification is part of the mission specialized and dedicated equipment for the handling of sensitive temperature-controlled cargo. The features of the program include a Pharmaceutical Handling Quality Manual and Quality Management System, dedicated cooler facilities, a Special Products Manager, as well as providing a team of fully experienced and trained personnel. WFS also invested in a new cooler for the 1,000 sq ft pharma facility at JFK in support of the GDP requirements.
The opening of this pharma facility also aligns with Swiss WorldCargo’s values of customer focus and quality care. In 2018, Swiss WorldCargo received a global CEIV certification, which ensures that the company adheres to the highest standards of pharmaceutical handling globally. The airline remains committed to providing the highest standards at its stations worldwide. With three daily flights from Zurich and Geneva, JFK is an important North America-gateway for Swiss WorldCargo.
WFS has also signed a 15-year lease on a new state-of-the-art, 346,000-sq ft cargo terminal at the airport, the first phase of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s comprehensive Vision Plan.
The facility, which will have a throughput capacity of over 300 million kilos a year, will offer improved cargo flows and reduced transfer times, shorter truck waiting times and incorporate the latest security and screening systems and procedures. It will also house dedicated facilities for temperature-controlled pharmaceutical products and perishables cargo when it opens in 2020/21.