IATA designates MIA as pharma hub

November 04, 2015: IATA has designated Miami International Airport as the first pharmaceuticals (pharma) freight hub in the U.S. and only the second in the world.

MIA has been recognized for organizing its pharma logistics providers to undergo IATA’s Pharma Certification Program, which certifies that pharma products are transported in accordance with global best practices.

The designation also highlights MIA’s leadership as a safe and efficient logistics hub for high-value, temperature-sensitive and often life-saving drugs and medicines.

As the busiest U.S. airport for international freight and perishable imports, MIA is already a booming pharma hub, with the total value of pharma products transported through MIA increasing by 79 percent since 2010 to US$3.283 billion in 2014.

MIA, along with its general aviation airports, is also the leading economic engine for Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida, generating business revenue of US$33.7 billion annually and welcoming 70 percent of all international visitors to Florida.

To achieve the designation, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department and Miami’s Health Technologies Distribution Alliance (HTDA) partnered together to organize a group of MIA cargo airlines, ground handling companies and freight forwarders who will undergo specialized training through IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma Certification Program.

“The CEIV Pharma certification program ensures the participants in the air cargo value chain have the tools to operate at the highest standards for the transport of what in many cases are life-saving drugs and medicines,” said IATA regional vice president for the Americas Peter Cerda. “And it gives pharmaceutical companies the assurance that their cold-chain logistics requirements are met through an independent certification process. We deeply appreciate the work of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department to bring together its community of pharmaceutical logistics stakeholders to partake in this program.”

Miami offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport, is America’s second-busiest airport for international passengers, boasts a lineup of 100 air carriers and is the top U.S. airport for international freight.