WFS and Swiss open JFK’s first GDP-compliant pharma facility
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) and Swiss WorldCargo have opened New York’s first GDP-compliant pharma facility after achieving certification of its Building 66 at JFK airport.
The two said the move underlined the growing focus on compliance within the pharma sector and its air logistics partners. WFS said the Good Distribution Practice certification confirms the company’s compliance with WHO, IATA, and PDA quality standards for handling pharmaceutical and life science products, as well as with SLAs signed with individual airline customers in New York.
Michael Simpson, WFS’ EVP Americas, said the move was “is in response to growing customer demand for high quality, standardized pharma handling”, adding: “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.”
Michael Ganz, head of Northeast-Midwest USA and Canada for Swiss WorldCargo, said: “This latest addition of GDP-compliant facilities allows us to offer additional quality corridors to our pharma and healthcare customers. The certification of our single-airline facility in New York further strengthens our position as a global quality leader.”
WFS said this initiative was aligned with the company’s “programme to provide coordinated cold chain handling services which secure product integrity and ensure patient safety”. It said achieving GDP certification was “further evidence of the company’s ability to deliver resilient working procedures and processes, as well as specialized and dedicated equipment for the handling of sensitive temperature-controlled cargo”.
The features of the programme 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.
In 2018, Swiss WorldCargo received a global CEIV certification, demonstrating that it adheres to the highest standards of pharmaceutical handling at its stations worldwide.
WFS has also signed a 15-year lease on a new state-of-the-art, 346,000 sq ft (32,000 sqm) 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 300,000 tonnes 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”, WFS said. It will also house dedicated facilities for temperature-controlled pharmaceutical products and perishables cargo when it opens in 2020-21.