Liege Airport at the PHD Global Aviation and Cargo Summit 202119/03/2021


Liege Airport took part in the 7th PHD Global Aviation & Air Cargo Summit 2021

Mr. Steven Verhasselt, Vice-President Commercial of Liege Airport (LGG), participated in a Panel Discussion at the 7th Global Aviation & Air Cargo Summit organized online by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, India to discuss new strategies for the industry to re-build and re-invent itself and find innovative ways of adjusting to the new normal against the backdrop of the upheavals faced by the Civil Aviation industry on account of COVID-19.

The theme of the Summit was Aviation – Air Cargo Industry’s New Growth Blueprint & Business Resurgence Parameters. It was conducted over two days from 12 to 13 March 2021. Mr. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation was the Chief Guest.

The Summit was attended by key stakeholders from the Indian government, Ministry of Civil Aviation both from the Centre and the States, the Airports Authority of India, the DGCA, DGFT, Customs, Domestic and International Airports and Airlines, Associations etc.

Mr. Verhasselt expressed his views during the Panel Discussion on “Air Cargo Sector – Sustainability Initiatives for Future” held on 13 March 2021, chaired by Ms. Vandana Aggarwal, Sr. Economic Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation and moderated by Mr. Keku Gazder; CEO of AAI Cargo Logistics and Allied Services. Mr. Verhasselt presented Liege Airport, an important cargo airport in Belgium and its journey over the last 10 years from an airport handling 300,000 tonnes of cargo to a multi-modal trans-shipment and transit hub today handling over 1.1 million tonnes of cargo. Mr. Verhasselt attributed this growth to three factors: Infrastructure including IT, Processes and People.

First, Investments have been made in the airport’s infrastructure such as runways, tarmacs, aircrafts and parking areas, in first line facilities and in a cloud solution that shares data among all members of the cargo community such as airlines, handlers, consignees, Customs, Food and Drug Administration etc. This new digital integration of data is ensuring smooth and reliable flow of information between various stakeholders. Secondly, the cargo management at the airport has improved all Processes from the moment the aircraft lands to the time that the goods leave the airport area, both on the air-side and land-side. Finally, the airport, with the help of the government, has developed a set of initiatives to find good and relevant People, and has notably started an Academy with the University of Liège to prepare and train specific talent in line with the industry requirements.

In addition, Mr Verhasselt underlined the role governmental authorities have played as an integral part of the airport community. Government bodies located at the airport such as the Customs and the Food and Drug Administration played their part in reducing the time taken by conducting checks at suitable locations to minimize delays. Their acceptance of data through the airport cloud helped in extending the airport into a 2nd or 3rd line facility for cargo development.

Today, Liege Airport has become a Multi-modal logistics hub. It handles not only air-air trans-shipments but also air-road, road-air, rail-air trans-shipments and transits and this has all been possible through developing efficient synergies between infrastructure, processes and people both at the government and the private sector levels.


Liege Airport is Belgium’s largest cargo airport and the seventh largest cargo airport in Europe. The airport reported a "record year" in 2020 for cargo activities, registering a 24% year-on-year increase in cargo volumes. As a recognition of the efforts deployed to keep the supply chain connected during a year marked by constant challenges and changing market conditions, Liege Airport has been awarded “Best Cargo Hub of the Year 2020” during the 36th Air Cargo News Awards and “Best European Airport for 2020“ during the Payload Asia Awards ceremony.

Besides, Liege Airport has been selected by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), the UN's agencies, to play a crucial role in moving critical supplies across the world to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Since December 2020, various vaccine logistics operators have been using Liege Airport as platform for this crucial supply chain, using the dedicated infrastructure and dedicated vaccine logistics processes. All these factors contribute to making Liege Airport the airport experiencing the fastest growth in Europe over the last few years.