While pharmaceutical companies are working feverishly on the development of COVID-19 vaccines, Brussels Airport is preparing, as Europe’s No. 1 pharmaceutical hub, for the fast and safe transport of billions of doses all over the world.
Air transport of medical equipment requires speed and a constant temperature. Of all European airports, Brussels Airport has the most adequate equipment for large-scale distribution: self-developed mobile cool boxes on batteries and solar panels, high-tech containers and no less than 30,000m² of temperature-controlled storage space. However, given the volumes to be produced and the specific transport conditions, which may be different for each vaccine, the question arises as to whether the available flight capacity will suffice. Perhaps passenger planes as well as cargo planes will have to be used. And will there soon be enough specialised refrigerated packaging, containers and dry ice for vaccines to guarantee the cold chain transport from the pharmaceutical sites to the vaccination centres?
Finally, some figures that speak for themselves. 25 of the 100 logistics companies at Brussels Airport specialise in the treatment of medicines and vaccines. Pharmaceutical transport has grown by 85% since 2016 and now accounts for 8% of Brussels Airport’s total air freight, far outstripping all other European airports.
Compliments of Consulate General of Belgium – Flanders Investment & Trade – a member of the EACCNY.