Steven Polmans and Sanjeev Gadhia to head up TIACA

posted on 13th June 2019 by Justin Burns
Steven Polmans and Sanjeev Gadhia to head up TIACA

The International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) board will have a new look from next month when Steven Polmans – director cargo and logistics at Brussels Airport Company – takes over as chairman.

He will be joined by Sanjeev Gadhia, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Astral Aviation, as vice chairman.

Polmans, who joined the TIACA board in 2016, and has served as vice chairman for two years, will replace Sebastiaan Scholte, CEO of Jan De Rijk Logistics, who will step down on 1 July 2019.

Scholte and Polmans kicked off a fresh vision for TIACA 18 months ago, during which time the association has grown its global footprint and launched an online airport ratings system, the Cargo Service Quality (CSQ) tool.

Polmans and Gadhia, working with secretary general Vladimir Zubkov, have pledged to build on the new framework, putting sustainability and diversity issues at the forefront.

“We have some exciting new ideas for the direction TIACA can take to the benefit of our members and for the industry at large, which include a strong focus on sustainability, where we intend to take the lead,” said Polmans.

“Not only is it a great honour to be the next Chairman of TIACA, I very much look forward to continuing this story, this time with Sanjeev by my side.

“He is not only a great guy, he brings a wealth of knowledge and contacts to TIACA and is respected by many, if not all, in our industry.

“Representing an airline based in a different region in the world also strengthens again our global footprint as an organisation.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Sebastiaan for his energy and inspiration over the last two years.

“Under his Chairmanship, we have built the foundation of a strong future for the only organisation, which represents all sectors of the air cargo supply chain.”

Polmans has spent most of his career in aviation, and, for 15 years held management positions, both operational and commercial, in the handling industry, at various airports, and in a variety of sectors, from catering and cleaning, to ramp handling and cargo.

He joined the Brussels Airport Company in 2000, becoming head of cargo in 2012, before being promoted to director earlier this year.

He became the first chairman of Air Cargo Belgium in 2016, a post he still holds.

Gadhia brings over two decades of air freight experience to the role of vice chairman and became the first African member of the TIACA Board in 2017.

He founded Nairobi, Kenya-based Astral Aviation, the largest private cargo airline in Eastern Africa, in 2000, and commercial drone operator Astral Aerial Solutions in 2017, which offers humanitarian aid relief and remote monitoring to combat poaching, amongst other solutions.

He is also vice chairman of the African Airline Association (AFRAA)’s Cargo Committee.

“I am very proud to serve as Vice Chairman and am looking forward to working alongside Steven,” said Gadhia.

“I will aim to ensure that TIACA is even more ‘inclusive’, and has a sustainable and diverse business model.

“I want to consider how we can better promote diversity so that we can grow the Association so that every member of the air-cargo supply-chain regardless of size, nationality, geography, or gender, can be a part of TIACA.”

TIACA has recently secured new partners EVA International and Messe München to deliver its two events, the Executive Summit (ES), and the Air Cargo Forum (ACF).

Details of the program for the next ES, which takes place in Budapest, Hungary from 19-21 November, 2019, will be released in the next few weeks.

The next ACF will take place in Miami, Florida, USA, in 2020.