Mar 01, 2016: Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) director Emilio T. González and other MDAD officials met with City of Miami Springs mayor Zavier Garcia and City manager Roland Gorland to discuss potential businesses opportunities for companies within the neighboring city, now that Miami International Airport is the only pharmaceutical (pharma) freight hub in the Western Hemisphere. This was the first in a series of meetings MDAD plans to have with its bordering municipalities, to make them aware of the MIA pharma hub’s expected economic impact.
In November, International Air Transport Association (IATA) - which represents some 260 airlines or 83 percent of the world’s total air traffic - designated MIA as the first (pharma) freight hub in the US and only the second in the world. MIA was recognised for organising its pharma logistics providers to undergo IATA’s Pharma Certification Program, which certifies that pharma products are transported in accordance with global best practices.
Already the busiest US airport for international freight and perishable imports, MIA has seen the total value of pharma products it handles skyrocket by 79 percent since 2010 to $3.283 billion in 2014. With 430,000 square feet of refrigerated cargo warehouse space on site – more than any other US airport – and its new IATA pharma hub designation, MIA expects its pharma freight business to reach much greater heights.
“The global pharma industry is estimated to be a $400 billion business,” said González. “As fast as our pharma traffic is growing, and with the most refrigerated cargo space on airport in the country, we are still only at one percent of that industry in dollar value. That means there is untold potential for growth in this market, and our IATA designation will only help accelerate our upward trend. We expect that the pharma hub will pay large dividends to our surrounding communities through business development and job creation for years to come.”
The IATA designation underscores MIA’s leading role as a safe and efficient global logistics hub for high-value, temperature-sensitive drugs and medicines. To achieve the designation, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department and Miami’s Health Technologies Distribution Alliance (HTDA) partnered together to organise a group of MIA cargo airlines, ground handling companies and freight forwarders who will undergo specialised training through IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma Certification Program.
Photo: Miami-Dade Aviation Department Director Emilio T. González (second from right) and MDAD Marketing Chief Ernesto Rodriguez (far right) meet with City of Miami Springs Mayor Zavier Garcia (second from left) and City Manager Ronald Gorland for a briefing about MIA’s Pharma Hub.