Accessibility is one of the attributes that make Greater Philadelphia a leading global life sciences ecosystem. James Tyrrell, chief revenue officer at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), answered questions about how PHL contributes to the life sciences sector with a cold-storage facility, daily direct international service, and its location on the East Coast.

What are Philadelphia International Airport’s cold-storage capabilities?

American Airlines’ largest cold-storage facility is located at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). This 25,000 square-foot facility dedicated specifically to pharmaceutical use includes 3,000 square feet that is refrigerated between 36 degrees and 43 degrees, and dedicated space with the capability to refrigerate cargo between 14 degrees to minus 4 degrees. Open since 2015, the facility has provided temperature-controlled storage solutions for pharmaceutical and other leading life sciences companies including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Pfizer Inc., and Merck & Co.

How is the cold-storage facility benefitting companies in Greater Philadelphia’s life sciences ecosystem?

The life science logistical chain requires fast, efficient, and effective seamless transportation since many products have a defined shelf-life. The American Airlines cold-storage facility provides regional life science companies an alternative to shipping product out of state and reduces travel time and distance, cost, quality, and quantity of product. The facility makes PHL a high quality, efficient alternative to traditional gateways without the congestion.

What are the other attributes of Philadelphia International Airport that contribute to Greater Philadelphia’s reputation as a leader in life sciences, a global hub for cell and gene therapy, and a place that is accessible to the world?

PHL is the ideal international cargo gateway for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, located directly adjacent to I-95, and shippers utilizing PHL have unhindered access to major North-South highway corridors along the U.S. East Coast in addition to easy access to East-West interstate routes.

PHL is currently expanding its cargo infrastructure with the development of 137 acres dedicated to cargo and logistics. These new cargo facilities will feature state-of-the-art technology and automation. To expand logistical support of the regional life science industry PHL is also working to develop additional storage capacity through a new, third-party cold storage facility. PHL is also implementing an Air Cargo Community System (ACCS), which is an electronic platform to expedite the cargo shipment process through speed, operational efficiencies, and data sharing.